President Robert Mugabe has ignored calls by security forces commanders who have been openly pushing for the arrest of Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo for alleged fraud; with the 92-year-old taking a huge leap to strengthen the Tsholotsho North legislator’s case to stay out of jail.
BY STAFF REPORTER
Moyo is accused of defrauding the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) of over $400 000 and attempts by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption (Zacc) to arrest him were frustrated by Mugabe’s intervention at crucial times.
The minister accuses Vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa of using Zacc to victimise him.
In a major twist to Moyo’s case, Mugabe through Zanu PF secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo, has written to the minister’s lawyers insisting all the money that he allegedly stole was used for Zanu PF activities.
After the Zimdef scandal exploded last month, the state media — which is now pushing a pro-Mnangagwa agenda in the Mugabe succession matrix — lined up securocrats to demand the arrest of top government officials in a pointed attack on Moyo.
Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Constantino Chiwengwa, Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) commander Lieutenant General Philip Valerio Sibanda and Airforce commander Air Marshall Perence Shiri were lined up in the attack.
On October 24, major general Douglas Nyikayaramba told parliament that corruption by senior government officials had become a security threat in another salvo seen as a direct appeal to Mugabe to act against Moyo.
However, the leaked letter shows that Zanu PF has now officially written to Moyo’s lawyers — Hussein, Ranchhod and Company — stating that Moyo did not steal the money as alleged by Zacc.
“This letter serves to confirm that in the last 18 months Professor Jonathan Moyo made donations to the party,” reads part of the letter signed by Chombo and is dated November 21.
“The donations consisted of, among other things, fuel coupons, computers, and other ICT equipment. These were made to traditional leaders, the youth and the women’s league.”
The letter also flew in the face of recent claims by Zacc commissioner responsible for investigations, Goodson Nguni that no cent from Zimdef was channelled towards the party.
At a press briefing held at Zacc offices recently, Nguni said it was a lie that Zanu PF benefitted anything from the loot, insisting Moyo and his deputy Godfrey Gandawa and senior ministry officials benefitted in their personal capacities.
Chombo’s letter, according to Zanu PF insiders, was part of politburo resolutions after an ad-hoc committee appointed by Mugabe to probe the matter absolved Moyo. The party tasked Chombo to write a letter in support of Moyo in his protracted legal battle.
Moyo has argued that the charges against him amounted to tribal persecution and has vowed to sue the VP, Mugabe’s secretary George Charamba, Information minister Chris Mushohwe, Nguni and others over the matter.