ADVOCATE Thabani Mpofu, the lawyer who represented the MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa when he challenged President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory in the 2018 presidential election, was arrested yesterday.
BY MOSES MATENGA
Mpofu handed himself to the police at Morris Depot in Harare in the morning accompanied by his lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa after law enforcement agents raided his home looking for him during the weekend.
He was charged with “defeating or obstructing the course of justice,” for allegedly falsifying information by submitting an affidavit of a non-existent person to the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) in January 2019 challenging the appointment of Prosecutor-General (PG) Kumbirai Hodzi.
It was alleged that Mpofu filed an affidavit by Simbarashe Zuze while filing an affidavit to the ConCourt. He was accused of, acting in connivance with one Makanza and Choice Damiso, a commissioner of oaths in drafting an affidavit in the name of Zuze, who in actual fact does not exist.
In his warned and cautioned statement, Mpofu said: “That enquiries are being made in connection with a case of defeating or obstructing the course of justice as defined in section 184(1)(d) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, chapter 9:23, which occurred at the ConCourt of Zimbabwe, Harare, on January 25, 2019 where it is alleged that I, acting with Makanza (NFPK) and Choice Damiso, well knowing that Simbarashe Zuze does not exist, drafted an affidavit to purport as if it has already been sworn before Choice Damiso and filed it before the ConCourt under case number CCZ/03/19, challenging the appointment of the PG. It is, therefore, alleged that by such an act, I defeated or obstructed the course of justice, and as such, made this statement on my own free will,” proceeded and insisted otherwise.”
Police yesterday confirmed the arrest of Mpofu for contravening section 184 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
“He is facing two counts of the same offense together with three others who are yet to be arrested for the case which occurred between January 2019 and February 2019. Thabani Mpofu will be appearing in court soon,” police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said.
According to the police, Mpofu represented a non-existent person at the ConCourt challenging the appointment of Hodzi as unfit for the office of PG. Mpofu, however, lost the case, with the court claiming Zuze was not an adult and Zimbabwean.
Mpofu has been detained at Rhodesville Police Station and is expected to appear in court today.
Mtetwa, who last night confirmed Mpofu’s arrest, but could not give details saying she was still organising “issues to do with his safety” at Rhodesville Police Station.
The case was to challenge Hodzi’s appointment as PG, arguing that he had come a distant seventh in the interviews, hence was not qualified to be appointed to the top post.
The matter was argued in October last year and judgment is pending.
MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzai Mahere said the opposition viewed the arrest of Mpofu as “the latest in a continuation of State-sponsored attacks against the pillars of our party and the democratic struggle in Zimbabwe”.
Mpofu is also an MDC Alliance counsel and has been part of many court applications involving the opposition party.