Net closing in on Jonathan Moyo

Farayi Machamire

HARARE - The net is closing in on former Cabinet minister Jonathan Moyo, pictured, who has now been indicted for trial next month over serious allegations of corruption which authorities say happened during his time in government.

However, it is not clear whether the garrulous Moyo — who has been living in self-imposed exile ever since long-ruling former president Robert Mugabe was ousted from power in November last year — will return to the country to face his accusers.

But the State says he will stand trial on May 21, together with his former deputy in the Higher Education ministry, Godfrey Gandawa, as well as three executives from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef).

Moyo is facing a slew of allegations relating to corruption which include serious fraud, money laundering and criminal abuse of office charges, as well as claims that he benefited from

Zimdef donations that involved the purchase of bicycles which he donated to his former Tsholotsho North constituency.

“... Moyo has been indicted and will face his day in court on May 21,” Prosecutor-General Ray Goba confirmed to the Daily News yesterday.

Apart from Gandawa, Moyo will be tried together with Shepherd Honzeri, suspended Zimdef chief executive officer Frederick Mandizvidza and its finance director Nicholus Mapute.

According to the State, Gandawa and Moyo recommended and approved a request for the purchase of 10 printers worth $95 800 and a computerised embroidery machine worth $16 000 on November 6, 2015.

It is also alleged that they awarded the contract to Wisebone Trading (Pvt) Ltd, a company that is said to be owned by Gandawa’s uncle — all this without going to tender as required by the law.

Moyo is alleged to have, from November to December 2015, instructed Honzeri to get quotations for tri-cycles for donation to his then Tshlolotsho North constituency, before instructing Gandawa to transfer $19 030 to HIB Rajput Ace Cycle.

The money was said to be the balance of the money from the printers purchased from Wisebone.

Moyo, Gandawa and Mapute, according to the State, also connived to transfer $27 550 from Fuzzy Technologies for the purchase of 10 three-wheeled motor cycles.

The State says Moyo and the officials were, all in all, involved in multiple corrupt activities which prejudiced Zimdef of $450 000.

On his part, Moyo has said that he is not corrupt, and since he fled the country, he has been working hard to discredit the government by repeatedly questioning the legitimacy of President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his administration, which has, however, been accepted by Sadc, the African Union and key Western powers.

Moyo has also told international media that his life is allegedly in danger, and that he has no intentions of coming back home until there is what he terms a “return of constitutional government”.

“The military specifically targeted my house and myself with a clear intention to cause harm and that is why I am not in the country, although I left legally.

“I am not at liberty to disclose my whereabouts because they have shown a very clear and determined intention to find me and harm me wherever I am,” Moyo said in an interview with the BBC.

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc), which was repeatedly thwarted by Mugabe in its attempts to have Moyo arrested over the corruption allegations, said yesterday that it expected the former Tsholotsho North MP to turn up at court to clear his name.

“All the witnesses are there and all the evidence is now there for all to see. It’s now up to the judges to deal with the matter.

“As for his (Moyo’s) extradition, that is a matter for the National Prosecuting Authority,” the head of Zacc investigations committee, Goodson Nguni, said.

But well-placed sources to the Daily News last night that they “know” where Moyo was, and that in the event that he did not turn up for court, the government had numerous options at its disposal to deal with him — including activating extradition processes which would see an international arrest warrant being issued against him.

The omens have not been good for Moyo ever since the Constitutional Court (Con-Court) dismissed his application challenging Zacc’s arresting powers.

Sitting as a full bench, the Con-Court ruled in September last year that he had erred when he rushed to the apex court on the issue, when a magistrate could have dealt with the matter.

Moyo had gone to the Con-Court in a bid to stall Zacc, which had swooped on him in 2016. He had argued that he could not be arraigned before the magistrates’ courts on the basis that the anti-graft body had no powers to arrest and detain him.

The late retired Chief Justice, Godfrey Chidyausiku, had subsequently stayed Moyo’s prosecution — pending determination of whether or not his arrest was constitutional.

Moyo, who was bitterly opposed to Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe, also accused the then VP and key players at Zacc of waging a factionally-driven war against him.

 

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