HIGHER and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo’s corruption case revolving around the alleged misuse of Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) degenerated into an imbroglio yesterday as his lawyers and National Prosecuting Authority(NPA) attorneys vigorously engaged behind the scenes on the way forward in the aftermath of Wednesday’s Constitutional Court ruling.
By Kudzai Kuwaza
The ruling dismissed Moyo’s bid to challenge his arrest by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) as unconstitutional and search warrants as illegal, saying those issues are not constitutional questions and should be dealt with by the magistrate’s court.
Moyo is accused of defrauding Zimdef of over US$400 000.
This comes as it emerged that some senior government officials and their NPA allies who want Moyo arrested and taken to court escalated pressure yesterday for his arraignment before President Robert Mugabe comes back from New York where he is attending the United Nations General Assembly.
Senior NPA officials said pressure was ramped up on police, Zacc and NPA to act while Mugabe is away. Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is fighting with Moyo in Zanu PF’s factional politics, is acting president.
The manoeuvres are taking place amid intense fight between a faction led by Mnangagwa and another which has coalesced around First Lady Grace Mugabe.
A factional battle is currently being fought over the appointment of Prosecutor-General Ray Goba whose selection has been gazetted although he is yet to be sworn in. The battles have already claimed the scalp of former Attorney-General Johannes Tomana who was dismissed earlier this year.
Before Moyo’s cases can be can be heard by a magistrate, several points in limine need to be thrashed out which include the legality of Moyo’s initial arrest, the legality of the search warrant and the legality of the letter written by Goba in November last year to Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri demanding his arrest along with his deputy Godfrey Gandawa, Zimdef CEO Frederick Mandizvidza and principal director Nicholas Mapute.
“Accordingly, acting under the powers vested in me under Section 259(11) of the Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe, I hereby direct you, Dr Augustine Chihuri, Commissioner-General of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, to complete the usual criminal procedures stated above and not limited to recording warned and cautioned statements from each and all the alleged perpetrators mentioned herein for each and all the alleged charges jointly as they acted in concert and in common purpose to defraud, steal, launder the proceeds and corruptly to feather their own nests,” Goba wrote to Chihuri.
Other issues that are still to be determined are whether Zacc has powers of arrest and the scope of Moyo’s discretion as Higher and Tertiary Education minister in charge of Zimdef in relation to the use of funds and his fiduciary responsibilities.
There is also a contest over whether Goba within in his constitutional and legal right to write to Chihuri ordering Moyo’s arrest, making the acting Prosecutor-General a potential witness.
Sources revealed that intensified efforts to apprehend Moyo included sending a team from the police and NPA to Morgan Zintec College in Arcadia, Harare, to check if he was officiating at the graduation ceremony with the intention of arresting him.
“The motive was to arrest him but they found Gandawa officiating,” an insider revealed. “The intention was to humiliate Moyo by arresting him at the graduation ceremony.”