Plot to nail Jonathan Moyo
By Andrew Kunambura
Shocking details of a plot to nail Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Jonathan Moyo over the alleged abuse of funds from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (ZIMDEF) emerged this week as the dog-eat-dog factional fights in the ruling party spilled to its youth wing, the Financial Gazette can exclusively report.
The ZANU-PF Politburo member was arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) in November last year for alleged abuse of office and misappropriation of more than US$400 000 of ZIMDEF funds.
Moyo, along with his deputy, Godfrey Gandawa, are facing several allegations, among them, abusing ZIMDEF money to acquire bicycles for traditional leaders in Tsholotsho North, a constituency under Moyo, and influencing the Fund to release 100 000 litres of fuel worth US$118 500, which was said to have been diverted to the black market.
Both ministry officials denied the charges, arguing that they never used the money for personal gain, but for charity and to fund ZANU-PF activities.
Moyo confirmed last year to have donated, through ZAIMDEF, 100 000 litres of fuel coupons towards the one-million-man march, staged by the party’s Youth League in May, in solidarity with President Robert Mugabe, who was facing protests at the time from former liberation war fighters, disenchanted with his rule.
Following his arrest last year the Higher Education Minister could not be arraigned before the magistrates court after he successfully approached the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) seeking relief on the basis that ZACC had no powers to arrest and detain him.
In its ruling the ConCourt suspended his arrest until a determination of his application challenging the consttutionality of the arrest. The court is still to make a ruling on the application
The Financial Gazette can reveal that the ZANU-PF Youth League is currently divided right through the middle over ZACC’s investigations.
A faction campaigning for Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to succeed President Mugabe now stands accused of sinking to desperate depths to nail Moyo who, lately, has not been hiding his disapproval of Mnangagwa ascending to the top office in the event that the current holder retires.
In an unsigned letter to the ruling party’s secretary for administration, Ignatius Chombo, members of the ZANU-PF Youth League, who signed off as “worried youths”, alleged that the party’s head of the secretariat, Dickson Dzora, was putting pressure to bear on them to “mislead” ZACC investigators into believing that the fuel coupons never reached their office at the party’s headquarters in Harare.
They specifically alleged that Dzora had been attempting to push his agenda through Blessing Mupaya, the league’s national director.
Dzora, who denied the accusations this week, is also being accused of promoting factionalism by coercing party youths to align themselves with the Team Lacoste faction to secure their jobs because its kingpin was most likely to succeed President Mugabe.
Team Lacoste and Generation 40 (G40) are the two camps in ZANU-PF. The former is campaigning for Mnangagwa to succeed the incumbent while the latter favours the status quo.
The “worried youths”, said Dzora was working closely with Goodson Nguni, a known Mnangagwa ally who works as the commissioner in charge of investigations at ZACC.
“Comrade secretary (Chombo), I (sic) bring to your attention serious interference by Mr Dzora and abuse of office to promote factionalism. Mr Dzora is working with Mr Nguni to promote factionalism. They are using Vice President Mnangagwa’s name and they are pressuring us as the Youth League secretariat to say we did not get any funding from ZIMDEF and Professor Moyo to support our programmes,” reads part of the letter, copied to the party’s national political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere; secretary for youth affairs, Kudzai Chipanga; secretary for security, Sydney Sekeramayi; Moyo and Gandawa.
The letter also accuses Dzora of being an ally of former vice president, Joice Mujuru, who was expelled from ZANU-PF on allegations of attempting to topple President Mugabe from power, unconstitutionally.
“Mr Dzora is offering us money and paying us to lie that Tongai Kasukuwere and Chipanga are covering up for Professor (Moyo), but the truth is that we got assistance from ZIMDEF…He is also saying we will get good jobs once VP Mnangagwa takes over from President Mugabe. As such, we are now divided since some are co-operating with Mr Dzora and Nguni in their plot to destroy Professor Moyo and Dr Gandawa accusing them as sponsors of President’s programmes and G40,” further reads the letter.
But a section of the Youth League believes the wing’s leadership was attempting to mislead ZACC and protect some of their colleagues who might have abused the fuel coupons sourced from ZIMDEF.
This group is arguing that while Moyo and Gandawa confirmed donating 100 000 litres of fuel coupons during the million man march organised by party youths in support of President Mugabe in May last year, there was no record at their offices showing that the donation reached its intended destination.
The furore has since claimed the scalp of Mupaya, who allegedly lost his job after informing ZACC investigators that he penned the letter to Chombo on behalf of the youths under duress.
Mupaya’s “confession” was said to have angered Chipanga; secretary for finance Tongai Kasukuwere; secretary for commissariat, Innocent Hamandishe; and secretary for administration, Xavier Kazizi, who then allegedly instigated his dismissal.
Mupaya confirmed to the Financial Gazette that he had indeed lost his job, but refused to shed more light.
“Please sir, I do not want to talk about that issue, thank you,” he said before terminating the phone call.
Kasukuwere, Hamandishe and Kazizi all declined to comment, referring questions to Chipanga.
“I do not want to comment on that matter. Talk to Chombo or (Dickson) Dzora who are in charge of party employees,” Chipanga said over the phone from his farm in Headlands.Efforts to get a comment from Chombo were futile.
Although Chombo has been ducking appointment requests from the Financial Gazette for the past two weeks and ignoring calls and messages to his mobile phone, sources close to him confided that he had received the letter, but decided to ignore it.
Dzora, who is said by sources to have strongly defended Mupaya, sought to downplay the issue, charging: “There are no such problems here. Where did you get that?”
Kasukuwere, Moyo and Gandawa confirmed receiving the letter from the “worried youths” yesterday while Sekeramayi, who is the secretary for defence in the Politburo promised to give his response after the Cabinet meeting. He was yet to do so by the time of going to print.
“It was delivered to my office secretary who signed for it. I only advised that it should be filed. I could not do anything about it since it was not addressed to me,” said Kasukuwere.
In an emailed response, Moyo said: “Yes I got a copy of the letter early last month and passed it on to my lawyers for their attention.”
In a telephone call Gandawa said: “I saw the letter and filed it.”
The Financial Gazette understands that things came to a head during the wing’s January 19 meeting to prepare for the 21st February Movement celebrations to mark President Mugabe’s 93rd birthday to be held in Matabeleland South’s Matobo district.
During the closed door meeting one of the youth delegates is said to have demanded transparency and accountability regarding donations that would be made towards the celebrations while citing the alleged case in which 100 000 litres of fuel donated by ZIMDEF for the million man march could not be accounted for.
Chombo, who had been invited to preside over the meeting, had to cool down tempers after youths started exchanging harsh words.
ZACC spokesperson, Phyllis Chikundura, refused to disclose details of the investigation, evasively saying: “ZACC is not doing anything about the alleged report. I hope this helps you in the article you are writing.”
She ignored further probing by the Financial Gazette. Financial Gazette