THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) has become a theatre of Zanu PF political wars amid indications President Robert Mugabe fears collateral damage as divisions widen in his party, following allegations that Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo abused the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef).
By Owen Gagare
The Zimdef case has highlighted how Zanu PF ministers are abusing funds from parastatals and government departments for self-enrichment and to advance Zanu PF programmes as well as their factional battles.
Insiders say Mugabe is disappointed that secrets of his party’s funding are now in the public domain.
The development comes at a time Moyo and his G40 backers including Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko are pushing Mugabe to take action on Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa for abuse of office for allegedly putting pressure on senior officials from the Prosecutor-General’s office to drop charges on suspended PG Johannes Tomana.
Tomana is a Mnangagwa sympathiser.
Moyo wrote to Mugabe in April 2016 informing him that Mnangagwa was pressurising Deputy Prosecutor-General Florence Ziyambi to drop charges levelled against Tomana.
The G40 faction wants Mugabe to take action on the allegations in the wake of the corruption charges Moyo is facing.
Moyo has also written to Mugabe indicating that his ministry was being targeted for supporting the women and youth league programmes, at the request of Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere.
Moyo informed Mugabe that his ministry had supported the “million-man march” organised by Zanu PF youths to show support for the president. His ministry also helped fund the war veterans’ meeting to show solidarity with Mugabe following the release of a stinging communique by Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association leaders in July.
Moyo and his backers believe Mnangagwa instructed Zacc officials to go after him as part of Zanu PF succession wars.
He singled out Commissioner Goodson Nguni, a Mnangagwa sympathiser, for leading the vilification campaign.
Zacc, however, believes Moyo should answer allegations levelled against him in a court of law.
Zanu PF insiders say Mphoko has taken a central role in protecting Moyo. He played a pivotal role in ensuring Moyo evaded arrest on Tuesday last week and during last Wednesday’s politburo meeting.
The Independent understands that Moyo was summoned by Zacc officials on Tuesday but while on his way to their offices, he received a phone call from Kasukuwere, who warned him of his impending arrest.
Kasukuwere advised Moyo to phone Mphoko, who told the minister not to go to the Zacc offices but to come to his Highlands home instead.
Mphoko then told Moyo that Zacc officials had received instructions from Mnangagwa to arrest him “and even showed him evidence”, according to an official.
Thereafter Mphoko went to the Harare International Airport to welcome Mugabe who was coming from Lesotho. He raised the issue with Mugabe in the presence of Mnangagwa but the Vice-President denied ordering the arrest.
Mugabe said the issue would be discussed in the politburo meeting the following day. The Zacc investigation was not on the politburo meeting agenda and Mugabe did not raise it, resulting in a hectic exchange of private notes between Moyo, Kasukuwere, Mphoko, Grace and Mugabe.
Mphoko eventually raised the matter, giving an opportunity to Moyo to give his side of the story while Zacc officials waited for him at the Zanu PF headquarters.Mnangagwa in the politburo meeting again denied ordering the arrest or instructing Zacc officials to investigate Moyo.
On the basis of Mnangagwa’s denial, Mphoko has been demanding to know who ordered Moyo’s arrest.