FORMER higher education minister Jonathan Moyo has dismissed criminal charges being levelled against him by government, arguing that the accusations are part of a politically-motivated plot by an illegitimate regime.
By Kudzai Kuwaza
In his first interview since fleeing the country after the military intervention which resulted in the resignation of former president Robert Mugabe, Moyo said the criminal charges against him were triggered by his refusal to support Mnangagwa and his faction. “They have since the coup started framing all sorts of political charges guised in the frame of criminal charges,” Moyo told British Broadcasting Corporation presenter Zeinab Badawi on the programme HardTalk yesterday. He said the crimes he and his G40 associates are being accused of did not warrant the intervention of the International Criminal Police Organisation commonly known as Interpol. Moyo said he was being viewed as a political criminal because of his refusal to support Mnangagwa and his faction which he said was “a very strange and unique definition of criminals which is only applicable in Zimbabwe”.
“If you grab power by force you have to find excuses to justify that grab and this is what they are doing,” Moyo said, adding that the current government was led by the most feared characters who have been involved in every atrocity in Zimbabwe, including Gukurahundi and Murambatsvina.
He said there is need for the restoration of constitutionalism and legitimacy.
Moyo said the Mnangagwa government which shredded the constitution and took power “through the bullet” cannot be expected to be the one to restore legality.
He said he had left the country legally with no warrant of arrest against him, adding that the only warrant against him was a “death warrant”.
Moyo said he left the country because the military had “a clear intention” to harm him. He said on the night of November 14, soldiers had attacked his residence with gunfire, but he had already fled with his family after being forewarned.
Moyo revealed he had taken his family to former local government minister Saviour Kasukuwere’s house which he said was subjected to gunfire for 15 minutes by SAS soldiers. He said the 11 of them, including their two families, managed to then leave the house unharmed after the gunfire.
However, he refused to reveal how he had left the country and who assisted him, calling those who helped him leave the country “angels”. Moyo said Mnangagwa’s visit to MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Friday last week was to negotiate a postponement of this year’s general elections for a period of three years. But presidential spokesperson George Charamba dismissed Moyo’s assertions.
“I don’t know whether legitimacy is derived from a bitter professor. It is derived from the people of Zimbabwe,” Charamba told a local radio station yesterday.
He said the military interception was to stop the likes of Moyo from usurping power by taking advantage of Mugabe, a move which was well received by Zimbabweans.
Charamba said Moyo suffered from what he called “power denial psychosis”. He said the military intervention had received the thumbs-up from the globe including the regional body Sadc and the United Nations.
Charamba scoffed at Moyo’s assertion that the current government was feared because of its involvement in atrocities such as Gukurahundi. Mnangagwa’s spokesperson queried whether Moyo had seen this fear “telescopically” or through micro-blogging site Twitter.
“Why does he not come and clear his name in the courts of law and not on BBC?” Charamba asked.
He also dismissed as “preposterous” claims by Moyo that Mnangagwa negotiated with Tsvangirai for a three-year moratorium on general elections.