BY SILAS NKALA
EMBATTLED Zanu PF secretary for administration and former Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu yesterday refused to answer questions thrown at him by Ntabazinduna Chief Nhlanhlayemangwe Felix Ndiweni’s lawyer in a case where the traditional leader and 22 others are accused of malicious damage to property.
Ndiweni and his accomplices, who are denying the charge, yesterday appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Gladmore Mushove, where Mpofu was summoned to testify after the chief had previously claimed that the top Zanu PF officials influenced his subject, Fetti Mbele, to file criminal charges against them.
Ndiweni (54) alleged Mpofu incriminated him after he took the former minister to Mbembesi Police Station for stealing the traditional leader’s late father’s 200 cattle, with their arrest meant to fix him for that.
Mpofu, however, yesterday said he had “no comment” to all of Ndiweni’s lawyer Dumisani Dube’s questions.
“The first accused [Ndiweni] sometime told the court that the accused persons and even the judiciary officers in this case are in danger if they continue with the case,” Dube said, but before he could finish Mpofu interjected, saying he had no comment.
Dube also asked Mpofu if he could tell the court why he, at some point, sent some people to attack Ndiweni and why he had allegedly made the records in which he was being accused of stock theft disappear.
“Do you respect traditional leaders? Do you respect traditional courts and the judiciary?” Dube asked, to which Mpofu gave the same answer.
“Do you have any interest in this matter and if not, why did you pay for all the complainant’s legal costs?”
Finally, Dube put it to Mpofu that he did not respect the traditional court, traditional leaders and the judiciary as evidenced by his refusal to answer questions put to him.
However, when prosecutor Kudakwashe Jaravaza asked Mpofu questions, he responded.
“Do you know the accused persons?” Jaravaza asked.
“I personally do not know most of the accused, and I did not even know the charges they are facing because I was not informed about them,” Mpofu responded.
Mpofu distanced himself from the case, including the arrest of the accused.