State fears Mphoko will expose govt secrets
THE State fears former vice president Phelekezela Mphoko’s trial on corruption charges will expose government secrets and applied to have the matter heard in camera.
State counsel Lovert Masuku told the court that they have gone through Mphoko’s defence outline and feel his testimony has sensitive information that should not be known by the public as it is prejudicial to State security.
Mphoko is accused of abuse of office as a public officer after he allegedly ordered the release of two Zinara officials who were in police custody at Avondale Police Station in Harare.
The trial was scheduled for yesterday and the State made the application before the hearing commenced.
Regional magistrate Trynois Utahwashe gave the order to have the matter held in camera and only allowed Mphoko’s wife, daughter and court officials to sit through the hearing.
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.