Phelekezela Report Mphoko
|Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe|
|Assumed office |
December 10, 2014
|Preceded by||John Nkomo|
June 11, 1940
Gwizane, Bubi District, Matabeleland North
|Children||Sikhumbuzo Mphoko |
Phelekezela Mphoko was the vice president of the Republic of Zimbabwe and former secretary of the Zanu-PF party. Mphoko was appointed to this position by Robert Mugabe on 10 December 2014. The other vice president appointed at the same time as him is Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Following the military coup in November 2017, Mphoko was ousted from the position of Vice President along with Robert Mugabe. Mphoko was also ousted from Zanu-PF after Central Committee met in Special Session at the Party Headquarters in Harare on the 19th of November 2017 in terms of Article 7 Section 37(7) of its constitution.
- 1 Background
- 2 Educational Background
- 3 Political Career-During and After Liberation War
- 4 Business Interests
- 5 Controversies
- 6 The Car Crash
- 7 Trivia
- 8 Gallery
- 9 References
Mphoko was born on the 11th of June in 1940 to Mahlwempu Mphoko and Muntu-omubi Mphoko in Gwizane, Bubi District, Matabeleland North. He grew up in the Bubi area at a time when the country was still under colonial rule by the British settlers. He is married to Luaurinda Mphoko, a Mozambican national (said to have been close to Samora Machel). They have three children, daughters Sikhumbuzo Mphoko, Siduduzo Mphoko and son, Siqokoqela Mphoko (Part owner of Choppies Zimbabwe). He has three grandchildren.
For his early education, Mphoko attended David Livingstone Memorial School in Ntabazinduna ,Matabeleland region. He did his secondary education at Mzilikazi High School in Bulawayo. Mphoko trained as an agriculturalist in field and animal husbandry in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe's name before Independence). Between 1959 and 1960, he enrolled at Tsholotsho Agricultural Breeding and Experimental School where he studied Cropping and Animal Husbandry. In 1964, he went to the Soviet Union to study military science and photo journalism. On his return he joined the liberation war, in which he fought for more than 10 years. Between 1996 and 1999, he did advanced courses on semen collection, artificial insemination and embryo transfer at the Institute of genetics in Austria.
Political Career-During and After Liberation War
- He entered politics in the 1960s when he joined the National Democratic Party under the leadership of Joshua Nkomo. The N.D.P during this era was the most vibrant of all nationalists movement in the country although it had not yet assumed a militant stance. When Z.A.P.U split in 1972, following differences between Chikerema and Jason Moyo, it culminated in the formation of Front for the Liberation of Zimbabwe (Frolizi) (a predominately Shona faction led by Chikerema and Nyandoro's new party), (and ZAPU remained with predominantly Ndebele).
- Mphoko was elected into the ZAPU's Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (Zipra) High Command as Chief of Logistics in a solid line-up led by Nikita Mangena, a commander. Overall control, however, was under JZ Moyo the Acting Commander-in-Chief  At one time after the formation of ZIPA he was accused by Dzinashe Machingura of diverting weaponry and supplies to Z.I.P.R.A instead of it being used by the joint army in its quest for independence ..
- NDP was banned by the Rhodesian government and this prompted the former NDP members to form another party, the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU). He was thus amongst the first members of ZAPU cadres to register the movement as a political party. In 1962 following internal and external pressure to militarize, ZAPU formed a Special Affairs wing led by James Chikerema that was charged with building an external military wing. By 1963 the wing had a formal structure led by Ackim Ndlovu, Robson Manyika, Dumiso Dabengwa, Abraham Nkiwane and Mphoko.
- In the 1970s, During Zimbabwe's war of independence, also known as the Second Chimurenga, Mphoko was the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) which was (Zapu’s military wing) commander. In 1978 he was re-assigned by Nkomo from commander to diplomatic missions in a reshuffle that included other ZIPRA commanders like Ackim Ndlovu, Mbulawa Noko, Cephas Cele "Groucha". Their positions were taken by a new breed of commanders under Lookout Masuku which included Ambrose Mutinhiri (Deputy Commander) and Gevan Maseko. Ananias Gwenzi, Gedi Ndlovu, Eddi Sigoge, David Thondlana, Mike Grey and Sekuru Patrick.
- In the early 80s, soon after independence, Mphoko was Deputy Director under John Shonhiwa in a government's newly instituted Demobilisation Directorate which fell under the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare. In August 1985, during Gukurahundi, Mphoko was reportdly arrested together with Cephas Msipa, Sydney Malunga, Welshman Mabhena and Stephen Nkomo. It was believed that during the same time that Joshua Nkomo and his wife's (Mafuyana) travel documents were seized by the government. Kembo Mohadi, then the Beitbridge MP and a personal friend of Mphoko, was arrested in Bulawayo around that time too. It is also believed that during the period between 1981 and 1987, Mphoko was said to have been working for the Central Intelligence Organisation and this was also the time when the Gukurahundi saga took place. Thus some critics link him to the controversial civil conflicts. Mphoko was in the first executive of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association together with Chris Pasipamire and Hebert Matanga in 1992.
Mphoko was a diplomat since 1987 and served in Mozambique, Austria and Botswana respectively before being appointed to Russia.Vice President Mphoko is a former Zimbabwean ambassador to South Africa, a position he served in from 2011 to May 2014.
Appointment as Zimbabwe's Second Vice President
In June 2014, several months before his appointment, it was reported that Mphoko had met Mugabe to stake his claim to the post arguing that he was more senior in the hierarchy of PF Zapu - than Simon Khaya Moyo. As the December 2014 congress drew near Mphoko allegedly made claims that among the 15 former nationalists who formed Zipra, it was him and Ambrose Mutinhiri who were still alive. The claim was immediately refuted by Dumiso Dabengwa who said there were many Zipra founder commanders alive.
On 8 October, Mphoko made it clear through a press statement that he wanted to become Zimbabwe's next second vice president. His statement read:
From the beginning, I made it very clear that when the VP post campaign has been opened, I will submit my Curriculum Vitae to the party for consideration, together with other aspirants.
However, I am aware that there are forces that are trying, by all means, to prevent me from contesting because of this and that reason including that I have not been a ZANU PF card carrying member until recently, that I have been out of the country for too long and I have not been in touch with the situation in the country.
First and foremost, you cannot be a member of the Central Committee of Zanu-PF unless you are a member of the party.
I have been a member of the Central Committee of Zanu- PF.
Like all Ambassadors, I was out of the country on assignment by The State President.
When I was Ambassador of The Republic of Zimbabwe to South Africa, I was a member of ZANU PF Pretoria Branch.
There are efforts to try to stop me from contesting for the post of VP. Only the President and First Secretary of ZANU PF, President Robert Mugabe, can stop me from contesting. And to me this is a God given post, after fighting for Zimbabwe.
I therefore believe very strongly that only an enemy agent of the former Rhodesian government would not wish me, being a freedom fighter from contesting the vacant VP post.
Eventually, on 10 December 2014, Mphoko was appointed second vice president of the Zanu-PF party and Zimbabwe, effectively succeeding, as part of the 1987 Unity Accord, PF-Zapu previous leader John Nkomo who died in January 2013.
Mphoko is also a cattle ranching farmer and entrepreneur who was one of the shareholders of Choppies Zimbabwe. In November 2018, following a year of shareholder disputes, it was reported that Mphoko had lost control of the Choppies Zimbabwe. A notice was posted in Choppies supermarkets around the country advising employees that Mphoko and his son had no financial or operational say in the business and that any employees who acted on their instruction would be disciplined. It was not clear however if the Mphokos remained shareholders.
Mphoko is infamously known for having said, while speaking on a panel at an event in Botswana, that the Gukurahundi atrocities were a Western conspiracy. Mphoko further brewed controversy in February 2015 when he maintained his controversial statements on the Gukurahundi massacres which he argued were an institution of the West. In an interview published in the state-owned newspaper The Sunday Mail, Mphoko claimed that the Gukurahundi were as a result of cold war politics and western imperialism meant to destabilise all countries which were aligned with Russia, China and other socialist countries.
Rejecting Government House
In January 2015, Mphoko is said to have refused a number of government houses he was offered. According to one local independent newspaper, Mphoko first refused a government house in Harare's leafy suburb of Highlands which was used as the official residence by the late vice president John Nkomo. Mphoko and his wife are said to have also refused another mansion in Harare’s affluent suburb of Ballantyne Park worth $3 million, claiming that it was small. His wife Laurinda was said to have refused all government houses on offer. She is said to have started shopping for another house and went to view houses in Glen Lorne, Borrowdale Brooke and Ballantyne Park, refusing to take any of them for varying reasons. Before his appointment to the post of VP, he was reportedly staying at Meikles Hotel on his frequent visits to meet Mugabe.
ZACC Attempted Arrest
Former Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko faces imminent arrest after resisting officers from the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) who wanted to pick him from his Bulawayo home over allegations of criminal abuse of public office on 18 August 2019. His wife and daughter came to his rescue.
The Car Crash
Vice president Mphoko was involved in an accident similar to the one the former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa was involved in. The car crash was reportedly caused by the driver of a T35 truck who made an abrupt stop and the car of the vice president could not avoid the T35 truck and rammed into the truck resulting in both vehicles being damaged. The vice president was not hurt but one passenger in the T35 truck sustained minor injuries.
Photo Credit: Herald
President Mugabe with new VP Phelekezela Mphoko, after his appointment. Photo Credit: New Zimbabwe
Photo Via VOANdebele
Photo Via VOA Zimbabwe
Phelekezela Mphoko and Emmerson Mnangagwa flank President Robert Mugabe at their swearing in ceremony Photo Credit: The Herald
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, his wife Grace Mugabe, and new Vice Presidents Phelekezela Mphoko & Emmerson Mnangagwa and others at the swearing in ceremony in 2014. Photo Credit: The Herald
- Nduduzo Tshuma Twitter Status Update, Journalist at Chronicle (Zimbabwe Newspapers), Published:10 Dec 2014, Retrieved:10 Dec 2014
- Zanu-PF press statement announcing Mugabe’s removal, 20 G40 members expelled , , Published: 19 November 2017 , Retrieved: 20 November 2017
- Lovemore, Former VP Mphoko And Son Lose Control Of Choppies, Pindula News, Published: 25 Nov 2018, Retrieved: 25 Nov 2018
- Judith Garfield Todd, Through the Darkness: A Life in Zimbabwe, ISBN 177022002X, 9781770220027, Zebra, Published:2007, Retrieved:10 Dec 2014
- Nduduzo Tshuma, Profile: Phelekezela Mphoko, The Chronicle, Published:11 Dec 2014, Retrieved:11 Dec 2014
- N. Tshuma, Profile: Phelekezela Mphoko,Chronicle, Published:11 December 2014, Retrieved:29 December 2014
- African Professional, Zimbabwean Envoy Phelekezela Mphoko, African Professional, Published:4 July 2012, Retrieved:10 Dec 2014
- Felix F. Silundika, [Pages 33 -35. Tarcisius Malan GEORGE SILUNDIKA, The story of a freedom fighter], WestBow Press, ISBN 1466993456, 9781466993457, Published:01 May 2013, Retrieved:10 Dec 2014
- Peter Batchelor, (Peter Batchelor citing Nkiwane 1999)
- Herbert Moyo, Mphoko pleads for VP post, Zimbabwe Independent, Published:20 June 2014, Retrieved:10 Dec 2014
- Brian Raftopolos, The Hard Road to Reform: The Politics of Zimbabwe's Global Political Agreement, ISBN 1779222165, 9781779222169, African Books Collective, Published:2013, Retrieved:10 Dec 2014
- G. Garare, Mphoko haunted by his CIO past,Zimbabwe Independent, Published:19 December 2014, Retrieved:29 December 2014
- Sadomba, War Veterans in Zimbabwe's Revolution
- Pamela Shumba, Ambassador Mphoko speaks on retirement, The Chronicle, Published:29 March 2014, Retrieved:10 December 2014
- Gukurahundi storm envoy posted to SA, New Zimbabwe, Published:24 July 2010, Retrieved:10 Dec 2014
- Richard Muponde, New twist to Vice-President race, NewsDay, Published:13 August 2014, Retrieved:10 December 2014
- Phelekezela Mphoko, My position on the VP post, Bulawayo24, Published:8 Oct 2014, Retrieved:10 Dec 2014
- M. Sasa, VP Mphoko Opens Up on Gukurahundi,The Sunday Mail, Published:15 February 2015, Retrieved:16 Feb 2015
- , Mphoko Rejects $3Million Govt House, Says Its Too Small,ZimEye, published:22 Jan 2015,retrieved:23 Jan 2015"
- Kuda Bwititi, Vice President Mphoko in a car crash, The Sunday Mail, Published: December 14, 2014, Retrieved: December 15, 2014,