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Mphoko’s discharge review ruling postponed

Former Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko

High judges of appeal Justices Benjamin Chikowero and Pisirayi Kwenda have reserved the ruling on former Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko application for a review of his application for discharge which was dismissed by the lower courts last year.

Mphoko’s application for discharge was dismissed by Harare magistrate Trynos Utahwashe who ruled that Mphoko should be put to his defence at the close of the State’s case.Mphoko is facing charges of criminal abuse of office after he allegedly ordered the release of former Zimbabwe National Road Administration acting chief executive Moses Juma and board member Davison Norupiri from Avondale Police Station after their arrest in 2016. 

He had applied for discharge arguing that the State had failed to present evidence that warranted his conviction. 

The State opposed Mphoko’s application. 

In his ruling, Utahwashe ruled that Mphoko had a case to answer and must be put to his defence. Allegations were that on July 14, 2016, officers from the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission  went to Avondale Police Station to pick up the suspects for their court appearance, but discovered that Mphoko had ordered their release. 

After hearing the arguments, the two judges reserved the judgment on Tuesday this week.

Mphoko is expected to be back in court on February 4 this year.

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