Former Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko must stand trial, but on amended charges, the magistrates’ court has ruled while dismissing his application to drop the charges against him.
He is facing criminal abuse of office charges after he allegedly visited Harare’s Avondale Police Station where he ordered junior police officers to release from custody of two Zinara bosses – then board member Davison Norupiri and acting chief executive officer Moses Juma.
The two had been arrested for criminal abuse of office.
Harare magistrate Mr Trynos Hutawashe said the trial should proceed, but on new charges to be crafted by the prosecution. “The accused must stand trial on condition that the State should amend its charges,” he said.
Mr Hutawashe dismissed Mphoko’s argument that he had no power to give orders to police.
“He was not an ordinary civilian,” said Mr Hutawashe. “He was known by all Zimbabweans and would act as the President when the President was not around. The officer-in-charge at the police station held a junior position to his, and that argument that he had no power to give orders cannot be allowed.”
Mphoko had sought to quash the charges against him via an application for exception to the charges.