Zimbabwe ex-vice president in court for corruption

Zimbabwe’s former Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko has been granted bail after appearing in court on corruption charges.

This comes a day after anti-corruption officials said they were treating him as a fugitive.

They accused him of driving away from a police station where he was supposed to make a statement on allegations being levelled against him.

Mr Mphoko’s lawyer says his client denies the charges of abuse of office.

Mr Mphoko was a co-vice president under Robert Mugabe.

He served alongside current President Emmerson Mnangagwa when Mr Mugabe was ousted by the military in November 2017, but the two have fallen out.

On Tuesday, his lawyer Zibusiso Ncube said the former vice president feared being detained and poisoned, and called the claims that he was on the run “sensationalist”.

Mr Mphoko denies claims he abused his office after allegedly storming a police station in 2016, demanding the release of an official, Mr Ncube said.

Earlier this month, the president fired Tourism Minister Prisca Mupfumira “for conduct inappropriate for a minister of government” after her arrest over the disappearance of millions of dollars from the country’s pension fund.

Zimbabwe’s anti-corruption commission alleges the money went missing during her time as minister of labour and social welfare. Ms Mupfumira denies the allegations. –BBC

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