D-Day for Jonathan Moyo

HARARE - Cabinet minister and Zanu PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo will today know if he has escaped the graft charges levelled against him by the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission (Zacc) when the Constitutional Court hears his application challenging the arresting powers of the anti-graft body.

Last year, Zacc caused a political storm in the faction-infested Zanu PF when it tried to arrest Moyo over graft charges. This fuelled the party’s infighting as the anti-graft body’s pursuit of the Tsholotsho North Member of Parliament took a factional tone.

Moyo and his deputy Godfrey Gandawa are facing serious fraud, money laundering and criminal abuse of office charges, including claims that the Zanu PF politburo member benefited from Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) donations which he used to purchase bicycles and donated them to his Tsholotsho North constituency — all of which Zacc alleged was not done above board.

Zacc had Moyo briefly arrested — prompting him to challenge the constitutionality of its arresting powers — with the late retired chief justice Godfrey Chidyausiku suspending his prosecution pending the outcome of the Constitutional Court application.

In the application, Moyo, cited police sergeant Munyaradzi Chacha, Zacc, commissioner-general of police Augustine Chihuri and (acting) Prosecutor-General (PG) Ray Goba, as respondents.

He argued that Zacc does not have the power to arrest and detain suspects while further questioning the PG’s power to order the police to arrest an individual.

However, in its heads of argument, Zacc said indeed it does not have powers to arrest suspects but has police officers seconded to the organisation that have arresting powers, who include Chacha, who was handling Moyo’s case.

“The second respondent (Zacc) has never averred that they have arresting powers. Section 13 of the Anti-Corruption Commission Act spells out the powers of the second respondent.

“It is clear from the Act that it does not expressly confer powers of arrest on the second respondent. In addition Section 255 of the Constitution confines the second respondent’s powers to receiving complaints, investigating, combating, exposing and directing the commissioner-general to investigate cases of suspected corruption and referring matters to the National Prosecuting Authority,” said Zacc.

It, however, further argued that Moyo’s detention was lawful as it was within the parameters of the organisation’s investigating powers, adding that Chacha has arresting powers as a police officer.

“Thus, whilst on secondment, the first respondent (Chacha) ‘assists’ the second respondent by carrying out those duties that he would normally carry out in the Zimbabwe Republic Police.

“Thus, he remains a police officer who is assisting the second respondent carry out those duties that the Anti-Corruption Commission Act has not empowered the second respondent to do,” argued Zacc.

Moyo, who is said to be a key member of the Zanu PF faction going by the moniker Generation 40, has accused Team Lacoste, a faction linked to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa faction, and key players at Zacc of waging a factionally-driven war against him.

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