HARARE – The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) is today expected to meet to deliberate on the fate of fraud-accused Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo, following claims by First Lady Grace Mugabe that the minister had no case to answer.
Moyo has been under the cosh over the past few months following claims that he siphoned over $400 000 from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development (Zimdef).
Zacc officials have alleged that Moyo and officials in his ministry used money meant for manpower development to fund personal interests and must face corruption charges.
Chairman of the Zacc investigations committee Goodson Nguni alleged that Moyo, in concert with officials from his ministry, diverted $430 000 from the fund to finance personal activities.
Moyo has said on his Twitter account that the money was used to fund the “Million-man march”, a massive parade of thousands of party youths in support of President Robert Mugabe and festivities to celebrate the nonagenarian’s birthday.
Moyo has approached the Constitutional Court (Con-Court) challenging the Zacc’s arresting powers.
Moyo filed the application against Zacc after he was briefly detained by the anti-graft body.
He argued Zacc does not have the power to arrest and detain suspects in terms of the new Constitution.
His prosecution was put on ice last year.
While the case is still pending before the courts where the Con-Court has reserved ruling in the application, the powerful first lady declared on Saturday that the minister is innocent.
Addressing a youth interface rally in Chinhoyi, Grace said allegations against Moyo were based on lies.
Her statement has left Zacc in a Catch-22 situation, contemplating whether to pursue the case through the legal process or drop it.
“The commission is going to meet tomorrow (today), but as for now, no resolution has been agreed on pertaining to the issue,” Zacc spokesperson Phyllis Chikundura told the Daily News yesterday.
Grace said the rally: “You manufactured corruption charges against Jonathan. It’s too much, we have been quiet for a long time. This must be stopped.”
The fraud and corruption charges filed against Moyo, a senior figure in the G40 faction of Zanu PF, have been accompanied by a scurrilous smear campaign against the minister in the State-run Herald newspaper, including repeated requests for his immediate arrest.
A sitting minister has been hauled over coals in public by State media supposedly loyal to a different faction — Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Lacoste faction — within the party.
The case against Moyo took a dramatic turn after he claimed his party foes were scheming against him in the Zanu PF succession matrix, where two party factions are seeking to succeed 93-year-old Mugabe.
This also comes after Moyo released a hard-hitting statement in November last year, in which he claimed that besides being an “independent body”, Zacc was being used to act in a partisan manner and to further the interests of a certain political group.
Moyo claimed Mnangagwa was the man behind his troubles.