By Daniel Nemukuyu
The Constitutional Court will today determine whether or not Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo should be prosecuted on allegations of swindling the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund.
Minister Moyo, his deputy Dr Godfrey Gandawa and Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund finance director Nicholas Mapute, stand accused of abusing nearly $500 000 belonging to Zimdef.
They were arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.
The full bench of the Constitutional Court will today determine the lawfulness of the arrest that was effected end of last year.
Dr Gandawa and Mapute have since been placed on remand at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts.
Before the trio’s court appearance date, the minister instructed his lawyer Mr Terrence Hussein to file an urgent interdict at the Constitutional Court.
The now late Retired Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku last year temporarily stayed Minister Moyo’s prosecution pending determination on whether or not his arrest was done in terms of the constitution. In his main application, Minister Moyo is questioning the constitutionality of his arrest by Zacc and the role played by the police.
He argues that Zacc does not in terms of the Constitution have the power to arrest and detain suspects.
He also argues that the PG does not in terms of the Constitution, have the power to order the police to arrest an individual.
He sought to stop his appearance in court, describing it as an illegality.
The investigating officer Sergeant Munyaradzi Chacha, he argued, could not be part of Zacc and the police at the same time, while Mr Goba had no power to order his arrest.
Acting Prosecutor-General Advocate Ray Goba said criminal allegations against Minister Moyo were well-substantiated and urged the Constitutional Court to issue an order compelling him to appear before a magistrate in terms of the law within 24 hours of the issuance of the order to answer to the charges.
Responding to Prof Moyo’s challenge, Adv Goba said his office had perused the docket prepared by the investigators and reached a conclusion that there was an ‘overwhelmingly reasonable suspicion’ that the politician and his accomplices committed fraud, theft, money laundering and criminal abuse of office.
To that end, Adv Goba urged the court to dismiss with costs the constitutional challenge by Minister Moyo and instead direct that he immediately surrenders himself to the investigators and appear before a magistrate to answer to the charges.
Adv Goba and his team of chief law officers also picked from the docket that Minister Moyo authorised various transactions in which Zimdef lost close to $500 000.
Adv Goba denied ever directing the police to arrest Minister Moyo, but instead said he only directed the Police Commissioner-General to follow due process of the law and assist in the finalisation of investigations by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.
The Acting PG said Minister Moyo did not deserve to be treated differently from other suspects. The Chronicle