FORMER Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko on Monday staged a gangster style escape from Bulawayo’s Tredgold Magistrates Court when he heard of his imminent arrest by some Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zaac) officials who were in the court building.
The once influential former government official faces allegations of abuse of office during his short lived tenure as one of former President Robert Mugabe’s deputies.
It was not immediately clear what had brought him to the court building in the first place.
Mphoko was seen being driven off at high speed by his son, Siqokoqela in a double cab vehicle.
Three Zacc officials who are pursuing the matter ordered police at the other end to block Mphoko’s car but failed to stop the vehicle.
In a later interview, Mphoko’s lawyer Zibusiso Ncube said his client was afraid of being killed in police cells.
“My client has a feeling that if he is incarcerated, he will be poisoned. As a result, I have to strike a balance between my client’s security and the interests of justice,” Ncube said.
“However, as part of our arrangement with Zacc, I went to Zacc offices at Mhlanhlandlela where we agreed to sign a warned cautioned statement at Tredgold Courts but when we got there the Zacc officials told me that they wanted us to go to the police central station.”
It is then that the lawyer instructed Mphoko to immediately leave the place.
Mphoko’s paranoia is not very new in Zimbabwean politics.
The superstitious ex-VP was once said to have refused to occupy an office that was once used by his predecessors, Joshua Nkomo and John Nkomo at Munhumutapa Government building in Harare fearing the unknown.
Both Vice Presidents are late.
Mphoko weekend rubbished claims that he refused to co-operate with Zacc officers on Friday.
He instead, accused Zacc of being dishonest, exhibiting improper conduct and wanting to arrest him without a warrant.
Zacc officers visited Mphoko at his Bulawayo residence as part of their investigations into a case of alleged abuse of office during his tenure as former President Robert Mugabe’s deputy.
The case reportedly relates to Mphoko’s alleged involvement in the release of former Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) acting chief executive officer Moses Juma and non-executive director Davison Norupiri from police custody after his arrest for criminal abuse of office in 2016.