By Brian Chitemba
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission has opened tax evasion investigations into Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo and his deputy, Dr Godfrey Gandawa.
Investigators told The Sunday Mail they were perusing documents obtained from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund with a view to possibly raising more charges against the duo.
Prof Moyo and Dr Gandawa were arrested for alleged fraud involving US$430 000 in 2016.
Yesterday, Zacc spokesperson Ms Phyllis Chikundura would neither deny nor confirm the turn of events, saying she was “still checking for the relevant details”.
Prof Moyo did not answer his phone when repeated attempts were made to reach him for comment yesterday.
It is understood the anti-graft body engaged the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority on Friday to verify if taxes were paid when Prof Moyo and Dr Gandawa allegedly imported equipment from South Africa, and bought bicycles, using Zimdef money.
The bicycles were reportedly donated to traditional leaders in Tsholotsho North as part of Prof Moyo’s political activities there as a member of the National Assembly.
Dr Gandawa’s company – Fuzzy Technologies – was allegedly used as a conduit to move over US$430 000 from Zimdef with some of the money being used for expenditure unrelated to the public office’s functions.
“Zacc investigators and Zimra officials met on Friday to check if taxes were paid in the Prof Moyo and Dr Gandawa transactions at Zimdef.
“The investigation is ongoing and once it’s complete, we will update you,” said an investigator who cannot be named for professional reasons.
The anti-graft body is also investigating allegations that Prof Moyo improperly received a US$33 000 loan from Zimdef – US$9 000 more than previously reported.
It is alleged that US$24 000 was transferred to him and the other US$9 000 was in cash.
While Prof Moyo reportedly claimed to have returned the US$24 000, Zacc investigators told The Sunday Mail “something was fishy”.
Indications are the money took a roundabout route, moving from Fuzzy Technologies’ bank account, then to Dr Gandawa’s personal account, nestling for a while in a businessman’s account, before finally getting to Zimdef.
Investigators say the loan breached Chapter 28:02 of the Manpower Planning and Development Act which makes no provision for extension of personal loans to the minister from Zimdef funds.
“The fresh probe against Prof Moyo is expected to be complete within the next few days,” said an investigator.
Following his November 2016 arrest, Prof Moyo filed a Constitutional Court application challenging Zacc’s arresting powers. He wanted his arrest declared unlawful.
Prof Moyo is also seeking nullification of search and seizure warrants used by investigators to search Zimdef premises.
The Constitutional Court reserved judgment in the matter last month.
However, Chief Justice Luke Malaba said the minister jumped the gun by approaching the highest court in the land instead of dealing with the matter at the magistrates’ courts where he could have challenged his arrest.
Dr Gandawa and Zimdef finance director Mr Nicolas Mapute are on remand. The Sunday Mail