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Former VP Mphoko appears in court, granted bail

Former Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko appeared in a Bulawayo court, Wednesday, facing a charge of criminal abuse of office and was granted ZW$1000 bail.

The court heard Mphoko allegedly defeated the course of justice during his tenure as vice president when he stormed into an Avondale police station and ordered police officers to release two Zinara officials who had been arrested for criminal abuse of duty.

Mphoko is alleged to have fled from Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) who were set to arrest him in Bulawayo on Monday.
Bulawayo magistrate-in-charge Enias Magate did not ask Mphoko to plead to the charge.

He ordered him to surrender his passport and report to the CID commercial crimes division every Friday as part of his bail conditions.

Magistrate Magate remanded Mphoko to September 4 where he is set to appear at Rotten Row Harare magistrate’s court.

According to court papers as presented by Thompson Hove, on May 6, 2016, Zacc received a report of allegations of fraud and criminal abuse of duty against Zinara officials.

“Investigations that ensued resulted in the arrest of Davison Norupiri and Moses Juma. The two were charged with criminal abuse of duty and their warned and cautioned statements were recorded on July 12, 2016,” said Hove.

He said after the arrest, Juma and Norupiri were taken to Avondale Police Station the following day pending their appearance in court.

“On the same day at around 6PM, Mphoko, who was at the time the Acting President, stormed the police station and ordered the immediate release of Juma and Norupiri from lawful police custody. The officer-in-charge complied with Mphoko’s order and released the two men before Mphoko drove away with them in his car,” he said.

Hove said Mphoko’s actions were inconsistent with his duties as a public officer.

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