Blessing Zulu/Shakeman Mugari
ZANU PF MP for Chinhoyi, Philip Chiyangwa, yesterday left a Harare court in stitches with his agitated responses during cross-examination on his links with the troubled ENG Capi
tal Asset Management.
Chiyangwa came to court driving his expensive metallic grey BMW saloon and was clad in a black suit, tartan shirt and maroon tie. He carried a black leather handbag.
His lawyer, a younger brother and an unidentified relative accompanied him to Harare magistrates’ court.
Chiyangwa who is also the ruling party’s chairman for Mashonaland West province denied any business interests in ENG.
“The only relationship with the young boys (ENG directors) was when they came to me for help,” Chiyangwa told a packed courtroom when answering questions put to him by magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe.
“Prior to that I had no link with their line of business,” Chiyangwa said.
“Pamwe chirungu chatirikutaura, ndati ndaingoda kuvabatsira as a black empowerment advocate (I just wanted to assist them),” said Chiyangwa who kept on interjecting during questions from the prosecutor and the magistrate.
Chiyangwa denied protecting the two ENG directors, Nyasha Watyoka and Gilbert Muponda, who yesterday appeared in court in olive-green prison garb – a far-cry from their usual designer suits
“I had no business of protecting the two. My offices along Samora Machel Avenue are well known and I have been there for 20 years,” Chiyangwa said. “My house is also very significant and there was no way I could have harboured the two.”
Chiyangwa said he was not aware that the two cars left at his house had been purchased by investor funds.
“The cars were left there innocently. I would not know whether they were in their names or in the names of the company.”
Chiyangwa also denied that he was refusing to hand over a third car.
“The car was in the possession of Gilbert (Muponda)’s brother and his wife Vivien Mwashita. I actually requested them to hand it over to the police,” he said.
Chiyangwa also threatened to deal with the policeman who alleged that he was in possession of the car.
“I will deal with the policeman who made those allegations. It is in the papers and I have a right to be protected,” said Chiyangwa.
The magistrate cautioned Chiyangwa not to issue threats in court. Throughout the session Chiyangwa was taking a sip from a bottle of mineral water and fidgeting with his two mobile phones.
He said he had no need to bother himself with the issue of the cars because he had his own.
The court dissolved in laughter when Chiyangwa referred to Chief Law Officer Joseph Jagada who was prosecuting as “a young man”.
“Young man, you must not waste my time asking irrelevant questions,” said a clearly annoyed Chiyangwa.
“Be direct and straight to the point.”
The magistrate had to remind him of the proper operations of the court.
“The courts do not operate that way,” said Guvamombe.
“He is a chief law officer in the Attorney-General’s office. A very top lawyer for the government.” At which Chiyangwa interjected:
“He is my young man. I was his chairman in the anti-corruption task force, where he was a chief lawyer. I do not want him to ask me unnecessary questions,” Chiyangwa said.
The prosecutor retorted that their relationship outside court was not important but Chiyangwa should just help in establishing the truth about his alleged links with ENG.
After the cross-examination, Chiyangwa pleaded with the magistrate to ensure that newspapers do not distort facts and implicate him in the matter. The magistrate said this was up to him as an honourable Member of Parliament. Once outside the courtroom, Chiyangwa who was all smiles hugged his lawyer and brother and said he had put up a splendid show. He told photographers outside the courtroom that they should not photograph his car.
“Leave my car alone, do not photograph it because it’s not stolen and where are the reporters? I want a press conference,” he said before driving off.