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Phelekezela Mphoko on the run after ZACC attempt to arrest him

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Phelekezela Mphoko

Former Vice President, Phelekezela Mphoko, is on the run after dramatically fleeing from Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) officers who were set to arrest him in Bulawayo yesterday.

The former Vice President’s movie style escape follows attempts by Zacc officers to take him to Bulawayo Central Police Station to slap him with abuse of office charges for an offence he allegedly committed during his tenure in office.

Mphoko had initially agreed to surrender himself to the Zacc officers at the police station but made a U-turn and sped off, leaving the investigating officers shell-shocked.

Mphoko is being accused of criminal abuse of office after he unlawfully instructed some junior police officers to release from cells, former Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) acting chief executive, Moses Juma.

Juma was being charged with criminal abuse of office.

Mphoko, who reportedly resisted arrest on Friday at his home in Douglasdale, yesterday agreed to meet Zacc officers at Bulawayo Central Police Station.

His lawyers had gone to Zacc offices to submit his statement but the investigators demanded that he must appear before them.
That is when they agreed to meet at a neutral venue – a police station in the city.

Yesterday afternoon, Mphoko indicated that he was now on his way to the police station for a recording of his warned and cautioned statement.

Upon arrival at the station, Mphoko then drove off at high speed.

Zacc spokesperson Commissioner John Makamure yesterday told The Chronicle that Mphoko was now a fugitive with anti-corruption officials pursuing him.

“He (Mphoko) ran away and as we speak he is on the run and Zacc officials are on the ground looking for him. The officials went to court, but he ran away. In fact, they went to a police post after having indicated that he (Mphoko) was not comfortable with our investigators,” he said.

“When our officials got there, he ran away and he is a fugitive of justice and Zacc officials are on the ground hunting for him.”
However, Mphoko’s lawyer, Mr Zibusiso Ncube, yesterday denied that his client was a fugitive, insisting that he was ready to stand trial.

He said the attempt by Zacc officers to arrest his client was contrary to their initial agreement when the former VP was supposed to just come and sign his warned and cautioned statement at Tredgold Building.

“My client is not a fugitive and he is actually prepared to have his day in court. My client had indicated that he wanted to have his warned and cautioned statement recorded at Tredgold Building where we then agreed to meet,” he said.

Mr Ncube said his client later raised fears of abduction in the event that they took him to the police station.

“If you look at the circumstances of the case, my client’s fears of being abducted seem to be confirmed in the sense that on Friday an official from Zacc called and I told him I was at a church camp meeting out of Bulawayo. I told him that I would be back on Sunday and we agreed to meet on Monday.

“I was then later disappointed to learn that they stormed my client’s house and tried to arrest him contrary to what we had agreed on,” he said.

Mr Ncube said on arrival at Tredgold Building, they were accosted by two officials from Zacc.

“When I went to Tredgold with my client we were accosted by two Zacc officials and they indicated to us that there was a change of plan and that we were now supposed to go to Bulawayo Central Police Station, which was a betrayal of sincerity,” he said.

Mr Ncube said he is now in the process of writing a letter informing the Zacc chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo about what transpired.

“I am working on a letter addressed to the Zacc chairperson because social media is now awash with reports that my client is refusing to co-operate, which is wrong. He simply wants his safety guaranteed and my client is willing to be given a trial date depending on Zacc’s readiness,” he said.

Allegations against Mr Mphoko are that in 2016, while he was still Vice President, he stormed Avondale Police Station to release Juma.

Mphoko, during that time, threatened to beat junior police officers at the station if they failed to comply with his demands.

Juma was later re-arrested and sentenced to two years in prison after being convicted of abuse of office.

According to court papers, 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 Juma. The two were charged with criminal abuse of duty as defined in section 174 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act and their warned and cautioned statements were recorded on July 12, 2016.

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 6 PM, 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.

It was stated that Mphoko acted in a manner that was inconsistent with his duties as a public officer, which was in violation of section 106 of the constitution.

The ex-Vice President resisted arrest on Friday at his Douglasdale house after dramatically refusing to co-operate with Zacc arresting officers whilst his wife Laurinda and daughter Siduduzo ordered the officials out. The Chronicle

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CRIME

ZIMRA Impounds Ginimbi’s New Ferrari

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Ginimbi-Ferrari

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) is reported to have seized flamboyant businessman Genious Kadungure’s recently acquired Ferrari following reports that he allegedly undervalued the vehicle.

This follows after, Ginimbi, as he is affectionately known by his associates, was recently arrested for allegedly defrauding the revenue authority after ‘manufacturing’ a receipt for his Bently Continental which he recently imported from South Africa.

The revenue authority has allegedly moved to impound the businessman’s Italian luxury sports car under suspicion that he used the same modus operandi to avoid paying duty in full.

Harare regional magistrate Crispen Mberewere deferred the matter after the State led by Mr George Manokore and Sheila Mupindu opposed to granting him bail arguing that he was likely to re-offend and interfere with investigations.

In a bid to substantiate its claims, the State called the investigating officer in the matter Detective Chief Inspector Erasmus Mashawidza to testify to that effect.

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CRIME

Uncle Roland Muchegwa Fined 68 Million Rands For Tax Evasion

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Uncle Roland Muchegwa

Uncle Roland Muchegwa ’s ostentatiousness lifestyle is alleged to have triggered the authority to conduct a lifestyle audit on him after he went viral on social media for splurging money on beautiful Mzansi women keen to make a ‘quick buck’.

Roland Muchegwa is alleged to be part of a fuel smuggling syndicate which has been diverting cheap fuel from areas like Kwazulu Natal province after misrepresentation of export and allegedly selling it at a profit in Limpopo province.

The well-knit syndicate also allegedly imports fuel from South Africa and lies that it’s in transit to DRC but offloads it in Zimbabwe where there are fuel shortages and feeds the black market for ridiculous profits.

The tanker then proceeds to DRC filled with water, because the weighbridge cannot dictate the type of liquid but quantity of contents, so this exercise legitimises the rot.

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CRIME

Wilfred Marodza raped woman four times in the park

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Wilfred Marodza

Wilfred Marodza, a trainee solicitor at a top law firm who repeatedly raped a young woman after stalking her and dragging her to a park is facing years in prison.

Marodza, 28, pounced on the victim, in her twenties, in the early hours of July 20 as she walked along Great Dover Street in Borough, grabbing on to her neck and threatening her as he forced her into a secluded part of Dickens Fields.

He then stripped her and raped her four times before she managed to break free, Inner London crown court heard.

She fled naked through the street with Wilfred Marodza in pursuit, as he claimed to bystanders they were having a “domestic” before she managed to escape in a passing minicab.

Marodza, a trainee solicitor with firm Cripps Pemberton Greenish, had been drinking in the area before carrying out the attack at 2.15am and struck again less than two hours later.

He grabbed another woman, also in her twenties, from behind in Borough High Street and put his hand over her mouth, attempting to drag her into a side street. However, the woman screamed and Wilfred Marodza fled.

Police were able to catch him because he left his rucksack, with his work identification inside, at the scene.

CPS prosecutor Nahid Mannan said: “This was a horrendous attack on two young, lone females. The prosecution case included compelling evidence showing Marodza dragging the two victims to secluded areas and also chasing the naked victim he had just raped.

“Marodza also left his rucksack containing his work identification at the scene of the rape, allowing police to easily identify him.

“The CPS takes crimes against women extremely seriously and I hope this conviction goes some way to provide the victims with a degree of closure.”

At court yesterday, Wilfred Marodza, a Zimbabwean national from Eastbourne in East Sussex, pleaded guilty to four counts of rape, kidnapping and a charge of committing an offence with the intent to commit a sexual offence.

He was remanded in custody by Judge Nigel Seed QC until a sentencing hearing next month.

Gavin Tyler, the managing partner at Cripps Pemberton Greenish, said: “We are completely appalled to learn of Wilfred Marodza’s conviction for such shocking offences. We were informed by the police in July of the arrest and that he was remanded in custody but did not know anything about the details of the offences until today. Our thoughts, of course, are with the victims and their families.

“Although there were never any concerns raised internally regarding Mr Marodza, we are offering support for staff members who worked closely with him or who feel affected by the news for any other reason.” The Standard

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