9 January 2019

Zimbabwe: Ex-VP Mphoko Daughter-in-Law's Extortion Trial Opens Monday

Photo: The Herald
Former vice president Phelekezela Mphoko (file photo).

The trial of former Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko's daughter-in-law has been set for Monday next week after her lawyers indicated they were now ready for the court process.

Nomagugu (36) was arrested last year for allegedly ordering 15 Choppies Supermarket managers in Bulawayo to unlawfully dispense over $30 000 cash from their point of sale machines and hand it to her.

She is currently out on $200 bail.

According to the state, she allegedly threatened the Botswana owned supermarket chain's managers with either deportation or dismissal.

Her lawyer, Welshman Ncube Tuesday said the defence was ready for trial.

"We have completed our defence outline. I have just finished taking instructions from my client. We are ready for trial on Monday," said Ncube, who is also opposition MDC VP.

Nomagugu's husband, Siqokoqela Mphoko is also facing 49 counts of extortion.

According to the state, sometime in June last year, Nanavac Investments, trading as Choppies Zimbabwe, issued a directive to all its supermarket managers against giving out cash realised from sales to individuals intending to replace the amounts through electronic equivalents via Point Of Sale machines.

Between 13 and 29 June the same year, Nomagugu went to the senior staff, some of whom are Indian nationals and demanded cash during which she also threatened to either get them fired or deported if they refused to comply.

She would then swipe the equivalent of the money she received using different bank cards. The cash unlawfully collected from 15 shops amounts to $30 230.

The money was looted on different occasions from Choppies shops in Bulawayo's city central business district namely: Luveve, Pumula East, Entumbane, Bellevue, Nkulumane and Lobengula suburbs.

The former state VP has been said to be having shares within the supermarket chain, something that gave his son and the wife powers to bellow instructions at Choppies managers.

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