Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Terrence Mukupe has been ordered to return the mobile phone which he allegedly stole from NewsDay journalist Blessed Mhlanga’s wife Florence. Mukupe allegedly assaulted Mhlanga’s wife and stole her phone after she had recorded the minister threatening to beat up Mhlanga over an article he had written.
Mukupe and Mhlanga had gone to SFM radio station to debate over a story in which the minister was quoted as having said the military would not allow MDC-T leader, Nelson Chamisa to rule if he wins the forthcoming elections.
Part of court order from Magistrate Richard Ramaboea reads,
b) The Respondent be and are hereby permanently interdicted from depriving 1st and 2nd Applicants of their property.
c) The Respondent shall pay the costs of this suit on a higher scale
TERMS OF THE PROVISIONAL ORDER
In the interim, pending the final determination of this case on the Return Date:
IT IS ORDERED THAT:
1. The Respondent are (sic) hereby directed to return to the 2nd Applicant or the 1st Applicant, the mobile phone handset, a Samsung S7 Edge that he forcibly took away from the Applicant on 24 May 2018 at the ZBC SFM Studio, Highlands, Harare WITHIN six (6) HOURS of the service of this Order upon the Respondent or upon a responsible person.
2. This Order may be served upon the Respondent by the Messenger of Court, or the Applicants’ Legal Practitioners at:
2.1. Respondent’s residence, being No. 293 Coombe Rd, Glen Lorne, Harare, or at
2.2. Respondent’s workplace, being Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, New Government Complex, Cnr. S. Machel Ave/ 4th Street, or
2.3. Any other place where the Respondent may be located.
3. Failing compliance with this Order by the Respondent, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) is authorized to assist the Messenger of Court — Harare to extract Applicants’ mobile phone handset from the Respondent if the Messenger of Court faces resistance.
4. The Respondent shall pay costs of this Application.
Mhlanga has also reported the minister to the police for theft and has complained that the police are dragging their feet.