PROF MOYO ‘ADMITS’ FUNDS ABUSE VP Mphoko fumes at ‘malicious’ Anti-Corruption Commission Byo Mayor warns of 48hr water shedding
HIGHER and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo yesterday admitted to abusing public funds, as university and college students lambasted him for using tribalism and Gukurahundi to defend his alleged criminal activities.
In a message on the social media platform twitter, yesterday, Prof Moyo said: “You can say what you want but I would rather be a Robin Hood than a cruel tribalist, murderer & UN identified cross border diamond thief!”
Robin Hood is an outlaw in English folklore who, according to legend, would steal from the rich and give to the poor.
In another tweet, Prof Moyo said: “The state of underdevelopment in Tsholotsho is such that bicycles are a necessity just like matches!
“It is criminal to claim that a decision by the ZimDef Trustee, me, to fund computers & bicycles requested by Tsholotsho RDC is corruption!”
According to information gathered by our sister paper, The Sunday Mail, $95 800 was transferred from Zimdef to Wishbone Trading through Cabs. Dr Godfrey Gandawa, Prof Moyo’s deputy, received $20 000 through his personal Barclays account after which he transferred $19 030 to HIB Rajput PL T/A Ace Cycles for 173 bicycles for the minister.
Dr Gandawa then transferred $27 550 to SKM Motorcycles for 10 tri-cycles for Prof Moyo and the balance was withdrawn in cash. Also transferred from Zimdef was US$107 525 to Fuzzy Technologies’ NMB Bank account, of which $5 745 was transferred to Pridham Investments for Dr Gandawa’s personal furniture. Dr Gandawa also paid for 69 bicycles worth $7 260 for Prof Moyo. He also transferred $12 900 to Wisebone Trading as capital to finance his personal business and the remainder was withdrawn in cash.
The documents further indicate that the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission is also investigating a separate case in which Prof Moyo and Dr Gandawa are suspected of getting Zimdef to release 100 000 litres of diesel worth $118 500, fuel which was then diverted to the black market.
It is alleged the fuel was requested by the Zimbabwe Youth Council on July 26 for a “skills gap assessment programme”.
Dr Gandawa recommended the allocation and Prof Moyo gave his approval on August 4, 2016.
And Prof Moyo on his twitter handle said: “I approved request for 100K litres of fuel from CEO of NYC Livingstone Dzikira. He & Kudzai Chipanga took ALL of it!”
The Zimbabwe National Students Union secretarygeneral Makomborero Harizivishe warned Prof Moyo to desist from using the tribal card and face the consequences of his actions.
“The Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education should never use issues like Gukurahundi or imaginary movie characters like Robin Hood to justify thieving, corruption and criminal activities,” the Zinasu secretary-general said.
He said statistics show that there were higher and tertiary education students who can claim victim to the historical catastrophic events like Gukurahundi.
“These students are now double victims of both the historic disaster and Prof Jonathan Moyo’s so called Robin Hood tactics,” said Haruzivishe.
“We cannot even call Minister Moyo’s defence ACTING President Phelekezela Mphoko yesterday slammed the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) for “maliciously” seeking to arrest Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo at the Zanu-PF national headquarters in Harare.
He said ZACC has no powers to arrest a Cabinet Minister without authorisation from the President.
Media reports said a team of ZACC investigators led by chief investigations officer Mr Alex Masiye, in the company of police, reportedly sought to arrest Prof Moyo after a Politburo meeting on Wednesday last week.
“There is this topical issue involving the (Zimbabwe) Anti-Corruption Commission, which wanted to arrest Minister Jonathan Moyo. The law of this country says the commission (ZACC) has no mandate or power to arrest a Cabinet Minister appointed by the President and even police or whoever is required to get clearance from the President to do so. The President is the only person who can sanction such an arrest as the appointing authority,” said Acting President Mphoko.
He said the conduct exhibited by ZACC officials was “tantamount to undermining the authority of the President.”
“If you want to arrest a senior Government official such as a principal director or Permanent Secretary, you need to approach the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, but whenever police intend to arrest a Cabinet Minister, they should first seek permission to do so from the President. What happened is clear malice by people who want to do things the illegal way,” said the Acting President.
“What happened is undermining the President. Surely when the President is busy addressing a Politburo meeting and the anti-commission is busy outside plotting to arrest him (Prof Moyo) thereafter. This is like it’s mutiny in a country.”
Acting President Mphoko said no matter how powerful a politician might appear in the eyes of the public, their powers cannot override Presidential decisions.
He defended Prof Moyo, saying, the Minister was just being persecuted for supporting President Mugabe and Zanu-PF.
“His (Prof Moyo) only crime is that he supports the President and those who want to have him arrested are people who do not support the President because the One Million Man march is a Zanu-PF initiative and the 21st February Movement is a legacy of the
childish for fear of insulting children,” Haruzivishe said.
He also advised the ministry officials that issues like the Gukurahundi disturbances should never be addressed through Zimdef coffers, but in the Politburo, Cabinet and Parliament which are platforms Prof President. So why do you arrest such a person?” he asked.
Acting President Mphoko also questioned the rationale behind the plot to arrest Prof Moyo in Parliament yet legislators enjoyed Parliamentary immunity.
“This is mischievous and we’re actually hunting for the person who is behind all this. Members of Parliament have immunity and they cannot be arrested in Parliament, but those boys were given an order to arrest Prof Moyo,” he said.
The ZACC report revealed allegations of fraud and criminal abuse of office resulting in the embezzlement of about $430 000 of Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) money, allegedly by the minister, his deputy Dr Godfrey Gandawa and some officials.
Allegations pointed to corrupt and fraudulent transactions involving the ministry, and two companies namely Fuzzy Technologies (Pvt) Ltd and Wisebone Trading. The Zimbabwe National Students’ Union (Zinasu), last week called for the immediate resignation of Prof Moyo and his deputy following allegations of corruption involving $270 000 they reportedly siphoned from Zimdef.
Zimdef is a State enterprise in the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, created in terms of Section 47(1) of the Manpower Planning and Development Act. The objective of the fund is to benefit students at tertiary institutions across the country including when they are on industrial attachment.
ZACC wants to interview P ro f Moyo and Dr Gandawa and three other public officials in connection with fraud and money laundering allegations. Moyo is part of. Had he been sincere, said Haruzivishe, Prof Moyo should have raised these issues on the said platforms. “As students we are now at great pains to understand why the whole minister who is also a professor, his deputy and a learned ministry official were in a scramble to address Gukurahundi issues in the Zimdef monies. “Minister Moyo and his deputy Gandawa should not only resign but they should also pay back our money.” Zimbabwe Congress of Students’ Unions president Tonderai Chidawa weighed in and urged the Chancellor of State Universities, President Mugabe to fire Prof Moyo and Dr Gandawa. “We urge the President to fire Minister Moyo as a matter of urgency,” said Chidawa. “We do not condone the abuse of State funds, especial the money meant to assist underprivileged students at universities and colleges. We also urge State apparatus namely, the army, CIO and police to step in and protect ZACC and whistleblowers in this matter.” The students’ unions, said Chidawa, were united against Prof Moyo. The minister, Dr Gandawa, Zimdef chief executive Mr Frederick Mandizvidza and Zimdef principal director (finance) Mr Nicholas Mapute could have unlawfully benefited from $430 000 of the State enterprise’s money between November 2015 and June 2016, documents show. However, it is alleged that Prof Moyo and two other ministers (names withheld) got the majority of fuel coupons (serial numbers provided) and used middlemen to sell them on the black market. Apart from that, ZACC is investigating other alleged abuses of Zimdef funds by Prof Moyo, his deputy, and three subordinates. The five are being investigated for five charges of fraud as defined in Section 136 of Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 9:23), and three charges under the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act (Chapter 9:24). WITH three weeks to go before Bulawayo implements a 24-hour water shedding schedule, Mayor Councillor Martin Moyo has warned a 48-hour schedule may be implemented if residents do not conserve water.
He said water levels at the city’s six supply dams — Insiza, Mtshabezi, Umzingwane, Inyankuni, Upper and Lower Ncema — stand at less than 30 percent of their cumulative capacity.
“This is a serious predicament we’re facing. The only way the city can be spared from shedding is if we receive substantial rains in the interim.
“As long as no water flows into the dams we will have to go through with water shedding. We might be looking at 48 hours per week but depending on the severity we might push to 72 hours. We’re hoping that it doesn’t get that bad,” said Clr Moyo.
“Restrictions of water use are at nine kilolitres per month which is too high. I urge the residents of Bulawayo to use water sparingly. We understand that they may need a few garden beds in their backyard but we’re asking them to use water reasonably.”
Water shedding is a system of conserving tap water by cutting supplies for a fixed period.
At its height in 2013, Bulawayo residents went without water for up to four days in a week.
According to the latest council report, councillors advised the city’s Director of Engineering Services, Engineer Simela Dube, to be cautious when reporting the water situation and avoid giving false hope.
Clr Rodney Jele of Ward 22 said that council should ensure that all boreholes were rehabilitated to forestall a water supply crisis.
According to the proposed 24-hour schedule, all residents are exempted on Sundays while industries and the central business district will not have water cuts.
Eng Dube last month said Upper Ncema had already been decommissioned and Umzingwane may follow in two months.
He said the city was praying for an improved rainy season as last year, the total inflow into the supply dams equalled a meagre two months’ water supply.
“If consumption remains at 120 to 121 000 cubic metres per day thereabouts, we could be able to stretch into the rainy season,” he said.
He said the crisis may deepen if daily consumption rates increase to between 130,000 and 135,000 cubic metres as it did last year during the heat wave period.
Eng Dube said the city was exploring ways of augmenting the city’s water supply.
He said one way of augmenting the city’s water supplies was to tap into the Nyamandlovu Aquifer. — @tannytkay
Professor Jonathan Moyo Dr Godfrey Gandawa
Acting President Phelekezela Mphoko