Home African News ZIMBABWE EX-VP STANDS TRIAL FOR ABUSE OF POWER

ZIMBABWE EX-VP STANDS TRIAL FOR ABUSE OF POWER

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A former vice president of Zimbabwe went on trial on Wednesday for alleged abuse of power and corruption.

Phelekezela Mphoko, 80, served as a deputy to Zimbabwe’s late ex-president Robert Mugabe, who was ousted in a coup in November 2017 after almost four decades in power.

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) accused him of criminal abuse of office for allegedly ordering the release from police custody of two parastatal officials accused of graft in August last year.

Mphoko smiled confidently on Wednesday as he stood before judges at the magistrates court in the capital Harare.

His lawyer Sibusiso Charles Ncube told AFP the hearing was adjourned after the state asked for proceedings to be held in camera.

He said the trial was expected to resume on Thursday and last a total of three days.

Both Mphoko and Zimbabwe’s current leader Emmerson Mnangagwa were deputy presidents when Mugabe was ousted.

Mphoko briefly fled Zimbabwe as the military-led coup was unfolding but later returned to the southern African country.