President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe

Former vice president of Zimbabwe, Phelekezela Mphoko escaped anti-corruption questioning on Monday, August 19, after he was summoned over alleged criminal abuse of office.

Mphoko, who served under long-time ruler Robert Mugabe, was due to record a statement on the allegations at Bulawayo, the country’s second city.

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A spokesperson of Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) John Makamure, said “We had agreed to meet at the police post at the magistrate’s court to record a warned-and- cautioned statement and have his fingerprints taken but when our officials approached his car, he drove away at high speed,” AFP reports.

“He is now a fugitive from justice,” the spokesman said, facing accusations of ordering the release from police custody of a chief executive officer and a non-executive director of the state-run roads authority.

Mphoko was, along with current president Emmerson Mnangagwa, one of two vice presidents at the time of the ouster by the military of Mugabe in November 2017.

He left the country as the coup unfolded but later returned.

ZACC tweeted Friday that it was “sad” that Mphoko had “refused to collaborate with the enforcement officers and unfortunate that he and those around him believe that they are above the law”.

Lawyer Zibusiso Ncube told AFP that they had an agreement with ZACC that on Monday he would sign a statement at the police “but when we got there they said they (the police) had instructions to detain him”.

“He drove away and is at home.”

The lawyer said the ex-vice president was prepared to appear in court to answer the charges, but “Mphoko claims he heard from impeccable sources that if he is detained, he will be injected with a poisonous substance”.