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Ex-ministers’ accounts frozen

IT never rains but pours for exiled former ministers Saviour Kasukuwere and Jonathan Moyo after the government directed all banks to freeze their accounts in the aftermath of the ouster of long-time leader president Robert Mugabe.

By Bernard Mpofu

Moyo and Kasukuwere were seen as think-tanks behind a Zanu PF faction that had coalesced around former first lady Grace Mugabe. The faction had gained advantage in angling to succeed Mugabe until the army scuttled its plan.

Mugabe’s exit resulted in the return and inauguration of his former ally Emmerson Mnangagwa as the new leader.

Mnangagwa had been sacked from Zanu PF and government a few weeks before the military moved in. Mnangagwa, who led a rival faction to Grace Mugabe’s G40 camp, was supported by the military and war veterans who in the past had been the backbone of Mugabe’s longevity in power.

Before Mnangagwa’s sacking, Moyo had presented a dossier in the Zanu PF politburo accusing the current president of plotting to unseat Mugabe. According to a directive from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Financial Intelligence Unit, all financial institutions have been ordered to freeze Kasukuwere and Moyo’s accounts.

“You are directed to identify and immediately freeze: all accounts in the name of the above-named individuals; and any accounts in which the said individuals are directors or have a known beneficial interest.

You are further directed to submit, in writing, a return to the Unit (FIU), by no later than 8th of December, 2017, listing and giving particulars (including balances) of all the accounts that would have identified and frozen in terms of this directive,” the directive reads.

“Where you have not identified any relevant account, you shall, nevertheless submit a nil return. Where you are in doubt regarding whether or not any particular account is linked to the named subjects, you shall contact the Unit for further direction.

The effect of the freeze is that (except any inflows into the account, which shall be processed normally and immediately notified to the Unit) no other transaction shall be processed from a frozen account, until the unit directs otherwise.”

RBZ governor John Mangudya could not be reached for comment on this development. Just this week a video of soldiers accusing Kasukuwere of abusing taxpayers’ funds and corruption get money for building his luxurious mansion went viral. In this video, the soldiers were asking one of Kasukuwere’s gardeners if he was happy with the political developments following the November 15 military intervention which culminated in Mugabe’s ouster.

The soldiers also asked the gardener where Kasukuwere had sourced funding to start the business. They also said bullets had failed to penetrate his fortified mansion, confirming the vicious military attack on his property.

The former Local Government minister has interests in energy, real estate and farming. Moyo, the former Higher Education minister, was early this year accused by the Zimbabwe Ant-Corruption Commission (Zacc) of abusing funds owned by a quasi-government department within the ministry.

In September, the Constitutional Court threw out his application in which he was challenging the arresting powers of Zacc. Moyo was facing charges of corruption involving US$400 000 which the commission had preferred on him last year before the former minister rushed to the ConCourt to challenge its powers.

Kasukuwere and Moyo, whose families scurried for cover at Mugabe’s Borrowdale mansion when the army took over, are understood to have fled to Kenya after the long-time leader bowed to pressure after 37 years in power.

Moyo yesterday took to microblogging site Twitter to condemn the government action.

Since his escape, the former minister has gone full throttle in criticising Mnangagwa’s administration and the military involvement in Mugabe’s ouster.

“I see some journalists and social media platforms are awash with this extract below (the directive). If it is an authentic extract of or from a legitimate official communication, then the law of the jungle is in operation in the so-called New Era,” Moyo tweeted.

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