Ex VP Phelekezela Mphoko

Zimbabwean ex-vice-president Phelekezela Mphoko’s son Siqokoqela has been arrested on allegations of rape, but fled from Hillside Police Station in Bulawayo, saying he fears he would be killed.

He is now on the run, but veteran broadcaster Ezra “Tshisa” Sibanda is talking to him.

Sibanda, who is doing a great job on local news reporting, is currently talking to Siqokoqela from his secret location.

He says he fled because he feared he could be killed at the police station as he was previously poisoned during past arrest and incarceration.

However, Siqokoqela is denying the rape charges and has been explaining the issue to Sibanda.

He claims the allegations are trumped up charges which are part of the protracted battle for Choppies Enterprises Ltd, a listed Botswana-based regional investment holding company.

The fierce fight for the control of Choppies, a regional supermarket chain, has been going on for some years now between its Botswana shareholders and Zimbabwean former vice-president Phelekezela Mphoko and Siqokoqela. The dirty fight has been in and out of the courts for years.

Siqokoqela is not new to arrest. In 2018 he was arrested for allegedly hijacking Choppies retail business and looting more than US$50 000 worth of cash and goods from the outlets countrywide without board approval.

Siqokoqela (44) was director of Nanavac (Private) Ltd, a partner with Choppies Distribution Centre (Proprietary) Ltd, and granted US$200 bail on his initial court appearance before Bulawayo magistrate Nyaradzo Ringisai then.

After that he was also arrested for violating bail conditions and had his bail revoked, but was freed after the High Court reversed the bail revocation.

The Choppies saga has given him grief, and now he faces serious rape charges.

In 2019, his father Phelekezela Mphoko, who was accused of storming Avondale Police station in Harare to release a political ally then facing corruption allegations in 2016, was arraigned, charged and granted bail after appearing in court on corruption charges.