EMPLOYERS have thrown their weight behind a court application by a Harare vendor Hardlife Mudzingwa seeking to compel police to arrest Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo over the alleged abuse of the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef).
By Kudzai Kuwaza
The allegations against Moyo and his deputy Godfrey Gandawa came to the fore when the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) attempted to arrest the minister a fortnight ago over the saga.
President Robert Mugabe blocked the arrest. Moyo has said the allegations against him are a smear campaign driven by factionalism and tribalism, adding that some of his colleagues are guilty of abusing funds but had not been apprehended. Likening himself to Robin Hood, Moyo said he used the money, among other purposes, for the development of Tsholotsho constituency.
Employers pay 1% of their payroll monthly to fund human capital development for the economy.
Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe (Emcoz) president Josephat Kahwema said yesterday his organisation was considering seeking recourse via the courts of law.
“We fully support the court case made by the individual (Mudzingwa) as it will make the courts decide whether Moyo is guilty or innocent so that we can get to the bottom of this issue,” Kahwema said.
“Otherwise we will have people who will stand up and ask why we should continue paying to a facility that has excess funds that it distributes for party programmes at a time when employers are struggling to pay workers and remain viable.”
He said the business community will meet on Tuesday next week to come up with a way forward on how to deal with the allegations of the funds’ abuse, which has also sucked in former higher education ministers Olivia Muchena and the late Stan Mudenge as well as former permanent secretary in the ministry, Washington Mbizvo.
Kahwema said employers were concerned about the allegations, especially at a time when scores of students were being kicked out of tertiary institutions over failure to pay fees, with other students on internship going unpaid.
Kahwema’s remarks come after Emcoz issued a press statement raising concerns over the allegations of abuse of Zimdef.
“We are concerned that a legal institution like the [Zimbabwe] Anti-Corruption Commission is vulnerable to attack by the very institutions that are sworn to protect it. This could be interpreted locally and internationally as interference with the course of justice, which significantly affects the attitude of investors,” Emcoz said in its statement last week.
“Zimdef, as a public institution, must apply the funds for the purpose for which it was established and it should not be allowed to operate outside its mandate.”