Mphoko uses his Choppies to repay Bob

VICE President Phelekezela Mphoko, who was plucked from the back of beyond to become one of President Robert Mugabe’s two deputies, has found a way to pay back the favour.

His company buys dairy products from Mugabes ... Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko

His company buys dairy products from Mugabes … Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko

Mphoko, who owns Choppies supermarkets, buys most of the milk products sold by his shops from President Mugabe’s dairy business, Alpha Omega Dairy (Pvt) Ltd.

This was revealed by Siqokoqela Mphoko, Choppies country director and son to the former Zimbabwean ambassador to South Africa last week.

“We are buying 75 percent local. All our house brands are done locally,” Mphoko told the media during the launch of the retail chain’s 17th branch in Bulawayo.

“… As you can see our lacto, our milk, our dairy products are done by Alpha Omega. So a lot of our things are done locally.

“We want to promote the local manufacturer. If we don’t, then that means that we are no longer a manufacturer in the country. We would just be bringing in imports.”

Mphoko was appointed Mugabe’s deputy ahead of many front runners to occupy the second vice presidency which has been reserved for PF Zapu politicians since the 1987 unity accord between the party and Zanu.

His retail business has 17 branches in Bulawayo, seven in Harare, and one each in Bindura, Gwanda and Mutare and has set sights on opening more in Gokwe, Ruwa, Mutoko.

Mugabe, whose populist land reform policy drove away white producers, has become one of the biggest producers of dairy products in the country.

His Alpha Omega, a multi-million-dollar business located in Mazowe, is a subsidiary of the First Family’s business empire, Gushungo Holdings.

The business churns out products such as Appertina yoghurt flavours, Alpha ice cream and Mnandi sour milk.

The company has been touted as a model of success of the controversial land reform programme embarked on at the turn of the millennium.

The First Family has reportedly railroaded State institutions such as the army and the police into sourcing their dairy products from the business.

Gushungo Dairies manager Albert Nhari recently told dignitaries at the farming compound in Mazowe that the company was indebted to the police and the army for buying from it.

“I must thank the police commissioner General Augustine Chihuri as well as the army General Constantine Chiwenga,” said Nhari.

“Their organisations continued to support us buying our products even when nobody was willing to be associated with anything to do with President Mugabe and Zanu PF.

“They (army and police) did not stop doing business with us even when we were under severe sanctions that almost brought the economy down.”


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