EMPLOYERS have resolved to engage both the Zimbabwe Anti -Corruption Commission (Zacc) and Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo in seeking clarity on the allegations levelled against the minister over the abuse of the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef), it has been established.
By Kudzai Kuwaza
Moyo is accused of misusing US$430 000 Zimdef funds in a case that has been marred by accusations and counter-accusations amid factional fights over President Robert Mugabe’s succession.
Sources said the Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe (Emcoz), which had initially expressed outrage over the allegations, will now engage Moyo and Zacc through the grouping’s lawyers Lunga and Gonese to map the way forward.
Employers pay 1% of their payroll monthly to fund human capital development for the economy.
“We want to engage Zacc through our lawyers to share their case with us,” a source revealed.
“After that we will meet with the minister and hear his side of the story. As contributors to the fund we could exercise our right to demand that a forensic audit of the Zimdef funds be carried out.”
Should the employers be convinced that Moyo has a case to answer, the source said, they will approach the Zimbabwe Republic Police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri and ask him to arrest the minister.
“If Chihuri does not arrest the minister if we find that there is evidence of wrongdoing by Moyo, we will then go to the court because we would have exhausted all the other avenues,” the source revealed. “We want to deal with this issue in a thorough and sequential manner.”
Emcoz president Josephat Kahwema told the Zimbabwe Independent last week that the employers had held a two-hour meeting which was attended by several business organisation representatives, among them the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union over the allegations .
Kahwema said they had also met with the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union leadership on the same day who had expressed dismay over the allegations against Moyo.
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.
The allegations against Moyo and his deputy Godfrey Gandawa came to the fore when the anti-corruption body recently attempted to arrest the minister over the saga. 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.
Moyo said he used the money, among other purposes, for the development of Tsholotsho constituency. This week he signaled his intention to sue Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Information minister Chris Mushohwe and permanent secretary George Charamba as well as editors of state newspapers among others over the allegations.