Mphoko wants charges dropped
FORMER vice president Phelekezela Mphoko, pictured, who is facing allegations of criminal abuse of office after he allegedly ordered the release of two Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) officials at a police station, has asked the courts to drop his charges.
He will know his fate on July 7 when the court rules on his application.
Mphoko, through his legal practitioners, applied for exception to the charge, arguing that they do not disclose an offence stating that the State wants him to plead in the dark.
It is his argument that he never had powers to order the release of suspects saying only the president has the powers to give an order.
He said the officer-in-charge at Avondale Police station is the one who actually gave junior cops an order to release the suspects from custody.
The State, led by Lovert Masuku, insists that Mphoko is properly charged saying the charge captures all the essential elements of the offence.
He argued that during the time of the alleged offence, Mphoko was in a position of power as a public officer and acted contrary to the Constitution by ordering the release of suspects at a police station. They said that he showed favour to the two suspects and disfavoured the State.
Yesterday, it emerged that the State has prepared amended charges for the former VP and intended to submit them to the court which however, the court turned down.
Regional magistrate Trynois Utahwashe will give a ruling on the exception application on July 7.
The State alleges that on May 6, 2016, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission received a report of allegations of fraud and criminal abuse of duty against Zinara officials. Investigations led to the arrest of Davison Norupiri and Moses Juma.
The two were charged with criminal abuse of office and detained at Avondale Police Station pending their appearance in court.
It is the State’s case that at around 6pm, Mphoko, who was at the time acting president, stormed the police station and ordered the pair’s release from custody.