Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Moyo remains under the gun

By Bridget Mananavire and Mugove Tafirenyika

The dark clouds that have been circling around under siege Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo are getting more ominous, with the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) widening its probe into his alleged corrupt practices, to include activities that happened 17 years ago.

jonathan-moyo-600This comes as the High Court has been petitioned to compel the police and Zacc to have him arrested over his alleged abuse of money at the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef), which falls under his purview.

But Moyo yesterday dismissed the latest round of sleaze allegations in the State media, saying his internal rivals in Zanu PF continued an unrelenting media campaign to get him out of government and the party.

Meanwhile, and separately, Zacc is also said to be investigating Moyo over $5 million which was released for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (Stem) promotion which the anti-graft body suspects could have also been improperly handled.

The chairman of Zacc’s investigations committee, Goodson Nguni, declined to talk to the Daily News about the onslaught on Moyo yesterday, saying it was improper to comment in the media about cases that were under investigations.

However, it is believed that Zacc has widened its probes to include activities that occurred during Moyo’s tenure at the Constitutional Commission (CC) in 2000, as well as his time at the Information ministry between September 2013 and last year, before the Tsholotsho North MP was appointed Higher Education minister.

Under the new probes, Moyo is being investigated over the advertising money paid to Lintas advertising agency by the CC when he was its spokesman between 1999 and 2000.

The defunct commission was set up in 1999 by President Robert Mugabe to lead the government-driven constitution-making exercise in 2000, in which Zanu PF’s preferred “Vote” campaign was roundly rejected by ordinary Zimbabweans in the ensuing referendum.

Apart from the CC, State media confirmed yesterday that Zacc had extended its investigations to the Information and Media Panel of Inquiry (Impi), a fact-finding process which was set up by Moyo in December 2013 to investigate the state of the country’s media and information sector.

Zacc is said to be investigating the purchase of luxury vehicles which it suspects were not delivered to the intended beneficiaries, but allegedly ended up being seized by Moyo.

The anti-graft body has also apparently opened investigations into how the money released to Impi was used, including allowances and salaries set aside for the secretariat.

In a comment on micro-blogging site, Twitter, Moyo himself continued to suggest yesterday that his current problems were political.

“In politics the real drama starts when the tables are turned. Watch the space. Meanwhile keep your big prayers going with fasting to boot!” Moyo said in response to one of his followers who had implied that he needed prayers and fasting in the current climate.

Contacted for comment,  Moyo said he was taking legal advice over allegations in The Sunday Mail . He said issues to do with his previous ministry should be referred to the current minister, Christopher Mushohwe who was unavailable for comment.

“Ask Mushohwe who ought to know that those two cars are in his parking lot, one being used by his permanent secretary and the other by his deputy minister,” Moyo said.

Later, Moyo’s office  put the Daily News in contact with his official driver, Patrick Chigweshe, who used to drive one of the vehicles in question.

Chigweshe confirmed that the two vehicles in question had been issued to Moyo and George Charamba, the permanent secretary in the ministry of Information.

“When we left the Information ministry, the vehicle was recalled and I personally drove it there and surrendered the keys,” Chigweshe said.

Early this month, Zacc swooped on Moyo and his deputy Godfrey Gandawa, accusing them of being involved in multiple serious fraud, money laundering and criminal abuse of office activities, including claims that the Zanu PF politburo member benefited from Zimdef donations that involved the irregular purchase of bicycles which he donated to his Tsholotsho North constituency.

The ensuing storm has not only exposed Zanu PF’s nasty tribal, factional and succession fissures, but also the ruling party’s gross abuse of State resources to advance its interests and those of its senior officials.

Moyo, who is said to be a key member of the Zanu PF faction going by the moniker Generation 40 (G40), which is bitterly opposed to Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe, has accused Team Lacoste (Mnangagwa faction) and key players at Zacc of waging a factionally-driven war against him.

Moyo has in the past implied that the State media onslaught (now its third week) was coming from a Zanu PF faction led by Mnangagwa in the internecine succession wars.

Moyo, the kingpin of a rival faction intent on blocking Mnangagwa’s path to the presidency, has been accused of financial impropriety.

He denies the allegations, saying money he allegedly looted from Zimdef was used to finance Zanu PF activities. Daily News