By Tatenda Dewa | Harare Bureau |
Jonathan Moyo, the Higher and Tertiary Education minister currently facing fraud allegations, has revealed that police boss Augustine Chihuri is not keen to arrest him.
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) wants Moyo to be arrested in connection with alleged abuse of office in which he led the unprocedural drawing of more than $400,000 from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (ZIMDEF) which falls under his ministry.
Despite ZACC’s insistence that it has evidence supporting its allegations, Moyo remains a free man, reportedly because he is enjoying the support of President Robert Mugabe.
A Harare resident, Hardlife Mudzingwa, recently made an urgent application to the High Court to press for Moyo’s arrest.
However, the minister, in his opposition of the application, submitted an affidavit in which he claims that Chihuri who is cited as the third respondent by Mudzingwa, indicated that he was not keen to arrest him.
Moyo argues in the affidavit that no-one outside Chihuri could cause his arrest.
“The first member of the ZRP is before the court as the third respondent. The third respondent has filed an affidavit and is not ‘ready’ to arrest me.
“It is not the eagerness of anyone that brings anyone or places anything before a court of law. The procedure that attends to how a criminal process may be activated does not involve that.
“If the police have no cause to believe reasonably that one has committed a crime, then that is the end of the matter. It renders the suspicion of everyone else, including fourth respondent (ZACC)and applicant’s, unreasonable. No arrest ensues,” said Moyo.
He said the High Court had no powers to compel his arrest.
“This court has no role to play in the determination of whether or not there is a reasonable suspicion that I have committed an offence. That is the sole constitutional prerogative of the third respondent (Commissioner-General of Police), who may be directed to investigate by the fourth respondent.
“Whether I should be arrested or not, is a discretionary matter within the province of the third respondent, which discretion must be judiciously exercised within strict constitutional guidelines. It is not a matter upon which this court can give direction,” said Moyo.
It is not clear why Moyo is claiming that Chihuri is not keen to arrest him, but a police representative last week told the High Court that no report had been brought to them for enforcement.
This is despite the fact that when ZACC attempted to arrest Moyo three weeks ago, it went in the company of police details.
ZACC, though, is insisting that, outside the police, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) can initiate Moyo’s trial.
Another option is for private prosecution.
A precedent was made in the case of Munyaradzi Kereke, a former adviser to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor, politician and businessman who evaded prosecution for years before being convicted through private prosecution.
He raped a minor but enjoyed the support of influential officials, among them the then Attorney General, Johannes Tomana.
Ironically, Chihuri was named as being among the authorities that allegedly frustrated Kereke’strial. Nehanda Radio