Renowned Lawyer Thabani who was arrested and detained yesterday on charges of making a false claim about the existence of a person called Simbarashe Zuze will appear before Harare Magistrate court this afternoon.
The update was posted by The Herald on Twitter, in a tweet that said:
“Advocate Thabani Mpofu’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa said he is expected to appear in Court at 2pm. She said he was scheduled to appear at the Harare Magistrates Courts by 11am but that has been postponed.
“We are now expecting him to appear this afternoon, probably at 2pm.”
Mpofu attended a police station by appointment on Monday after police twice raided his homes, his lawyer said.
He arrived at the police Anti-Corruption Unit at Morris Depot accompanied by his lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa.
The police charges, a copy of which was seen by ZimLive, accused Mpofu of conspiring with one Makanza and Choice Damiso, a commissioner of oaths, to draft an affidavit in the name of one Simbarashe Zuze which was then filed at the Constitutional Court in January last year in a case challenging the appointment of Kumbirai Hodzi as Prosecutor General.
Police said the trio did this “well knowing that Simbarashe Zuze does not exist.”
The case was struck off the roll in February, a month later, after court officials said it had been “deemed abandoned in terms of Section 9 (6) of the rules of this court.”
The abandonment of the case was, however, not before the secretary of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) secretary Walter Chikwana filed the JSC’s response in which he stated: “There is no proof on record that the applicant is an adult, let alone a Zimbabwean citizen.
“The applicant is put to the strictest proof of these issues and he should provide a copy of his national identity card.
“Without establishing that he is an adult Zimbabwean, the applicant has no locus standi to approach the court in the present proceedings and the application should fail on this basis alone.”
The Hodzi appointment challenge was revived in a different application in February 2019 by Harare lawyer Joshua Chirambwe, who was again represented by Mpofu.
The matter was argued in October last year and judgement is pending.
Mtetwa said the allegations were not new.
“They were investigated by the Law Society of Zimbabwe and the Law and Order section of the ZRP last year. The Zuze person was interviewed and they confirmed he exists. So it’s extremely surprising that now, suddenly, he’s being locked up for this,” Mtetwa said.
Mpofu famously represented MDC leader Nelson Chamisa in his unsuccessful bid to overturn the results of the 2018 presidential elections.
The MDC on Monday said Mpofu was being “persecuted”.
“Advocate Mpofu is the latest in a series of state-sponsored attacks against the pillars of our party and the democratic struggle in Zimbabwe,” MDC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said in a statement.
She added: “The persecution of Advocate Mpofu comes shortly after the abduction, torture and sexual assault of three of our female members who were enforcedly disappeared a fortnight ago.
“This incessant and coordinated assault on our party and its affiliates, the procedural recall of our Members of Parliament and the attempt to use state institutions to dismember the democratic movement will not stop us from pursuing the agenda of change.”
The lawyer is expected to appear in court on Tuesday.
We will update this article as new details emerge.