It seems that when things go bad, they really go bad. Former Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko’s son Siqokoqela Mphoko who is facing charges of fraud appeared in court yesterday wearing khaki prison garb and leg irons. Siqokoqela was a shadow of himself as he was very subdued when he appeared before Bulawayo regional magistrate Trynos Utavashe who remanded him in Custody to January 21, 2019. This means that Mphoko will spend the entire festive season behind bars unless his application opposing the revocation of his bail pending trial succeeds. Mphoko’s bail was revoked last week after he was alleged to have interfered with state witnesses in violation of his bail conditions.
Mphoko’s lawyer, Professor Welshman Ncube of Mathonsi Ncube Law Chambers on Tuesday this week filed an appeal at the Bulawayo High Court challenging the revocation of bail pending trial. The application is yet to be heard. Mphoko is alleged to have “looted” cash realised from sales at different Choppies supermarkets and replaced it with bank transfers. According to the state, Mphoko allegedly went to various Choppies supermarkets to demand varying amounts of cash, goods and services from employees without approval from the board.
Former Vice President Mphoko together with his family are frantically fighting to maintain control of Choppies Supermarkets after their Botswana partners alleged that the Mphoko family never invested any money in the business. Instead, they were used as a front to get around the country’s Indigenisation laws.