From the terraces: Jonathan Moyo’s corruption allegations get Zimbabweans talking

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Charles Mabhena

Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development minister Jonathan Moyo and his deputy Godfrey Gandawa’s US$430 000 corruption allegations has stirred ‘hot’ online media debates, with commentators saying this mirrors the face of his party (ZANU PF) and hence, its reluctance to fight the menace.

According to the recent Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission (ZACC) investigations, it is being alleged that the two were implicated in a $430 000 fraud case by use of money transfers to shelf companies, as well as cash withdrawals, involving the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (ZimDef). It is understood that ZACC officials visited ZANU PF Headquarters last week with intent to arrest Moyo who was in a meeting at the ‘shake shake’ building, but President Robert Mugabe blocked his arrest.

Moyo declined any wrongdoing as he twitted; “It is criminal to claim that a decision by the ZimDef Trustee, me, to fund computers & bicycles requested by Tsholotsho Rural District Council is corruption.”

He also says ZACC has no arresting powers; “In terms of section 255 (1) (e) of the Constitution ZACC is required to direct Commissioner General of Police to investigate cases of suspected corruption!.”

Victor Moyo twitted that before talking about the alleged money that bought bicycles that benefited communities, ZACC should first investigate the 15 billion diamond money that went missing. Prof Moyo agreed to this twitting; “That is correct. The word of mouth has not been lost. In Tsholotsho everyone is talking about this.”

Meanwhile, a comment from one who calls self Judas Iscariot was that ‘it is a culture in the ruling party, and that the amount that the professor is being accused of mis-using, isn’t even enough to build the foundation of Kasukuwere’s 50 bedroom mansion’ adding that at least the professor made sure, some of the money was used to help the folks in his own constituency.

“Like I said before, being in ZANU PF is like being in a pigsty, nobody who lives in a pigsty can claim to be clean. It’s a shame that herald reporters pick and choose who they want to expose. They’re all corrupt in this is why it’s time for regime change,” Iscariot says.

A reader called Mister Arcadia’s comment implies that Prof Moyo must go to jail for gross abuse of office and theft of 100 000 litres of diesel siphoned from a public fund to bolster ZANU PF programmes, adding that there should be a difference between party and government.

Another reader, Mendeka concurs with Iscariot in that the whole thing seems to be factionalism driven as the players try tarnish one another. “It is very clear to everyone that this is only the fight between G40 and Team Lacoste. The proponents are stinging each other with venom and people will die soon. They are even resorting to using our national papers to soil each other,” wrote Mendeka.

However, a reader who calls self Wezhira Wezhara: begged to differ; “Let’s be fair here. Whether or not there are factional wars the evidence against Moyo would have warranted his arrest. It is not about what Lacoste did or did not do. Neither is it about G40’s deeds or misdeeds but more about Moyo’s commissions and omissions. He must have his day in court just like Kereke and Mangoma the former Energy Minister.”

“If you steal from Walmart in New York or London being a black person as you most likely are and a white police officer arrests you would you say you are being arrested because you are black?” queried Wezhara commenting on the Herald website.

Gamatox Mutasa says Moyo is here to stay neither is he going to be arrested as everyone in ZANU PF is doing the same, adding that the backing he is getting from the President and VP Mphoko is clear indication that they fear he will spill the beans.

“The likes of Kangai stole from GMB, Samuel Undenge from ZESA, Supa Mandiwanzira from Netone to name a few, but did not go to jail for it,” says Mutasa, before jokingly said the money that Moyo allegedly stole will be recovered through the introduction of bond notes.

Another commentator said the best the government could do under the circumstances is to suspend these officials, without pay and benefits, to allow investigations without any challenges or so that they do not interfere with investigations. Corruption at whatever level, and by who ever, is the enemy of development.

“Mugabe should prove to the world that he is not the superstar of corruption by not shielding thieves. If Moyo is not arrested and brought to the courts, then Zimbabwe would have confirmed to be a banana state and should kiss good bye to potential investors.

“Investors have simple rules that guides them before the invest anywhere, they want to see rule of law and respect of property rights, they want to invest where they get good returns, they also want to see a good story written on the country risk both political and economical and they want to protect their investment. Now in Zimbabwe we seem to have good returns for any risk venture but we lack the other critical components listed above,” read another comment.

The comment went on alleging that Mugabe is prepared to bring down the whole country with him and that concerned citizens must never allow this to happen. It urged him to hand over power to any of his deputies and allow the country to move forward. That is what responsible leaders do in a civilised world. Preferably Mnangagwa as Mphoko has already shielded the thief also, the comment read ‘majority of our people have reservations about Ngwena because of his ruthlessness.’

According to The Herald Prof Moyo, Gandawa, Frederick Mandizvidza (ZimDef CEO) and two other unnamed ministers could have unlawfully benefited by siphoning state enterprise money between the period 2015 and 2016. The paper claims that the five are being investigated for five counts of fraud as defined in section 136 of Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23, and three charges under Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act (Chapter 9:24).