Rea­son­able sus­pi­cion Prof Jonathan Moyo com­mit­ted crime, Pros­e­cu­tor-Gen­eral says

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Daniel Ne­mukuyu

ACT­ING Pros­e­cu­tor-Gen­eral Ad­vo­cate Ray Goba has said crim­i­nal al­le­ga­tions against Higher and Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion, Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pro­fes­sor Jonathan Moyo are well-sub­stan­ti­ated and urged the Con­sti­tu­tional Court to is­sue an or­der com­pelling him to ap­pear be­fore a mag­is­trate within 24 hours to an­swer to the charges.

Prof Moyo, to­gether with his deputy God­frey Gan­dawa and a Zim­babwe Man­power De­vel­op­ment Fund fi­nance di­rec­tor Ni­cholas Ma­pute, is ac­cused of abus­ing nearly $500 000 be­long­ing to Zimdef.

Deputy Min­is­ter Gan­dawa and Ma­pute have since been placed on re­mand at the Harare Mag­is­trates’ Court, but Prof Moyo filed an ap­pli­ca­tion at the Con­sti­tu­tional Court chal­leng­ing the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of his ar­rest.

Re­spond­ing to Min­is­ter Moyo’s chal­lenge, Adv Goba said his of­fice had pe­rused the docket pre­pared by the in­ves­ti­ga­tors and reached a con­clu­sion that there was an “over­whelm­ingly rea­son­able sus­pi­cion” that the politi­cian and his ac­com­plices com­mit­ted fraud, theft, money laun­der­ing and crim­i­nal abuse of of­fice.

“Upon perusal and proper con­sid­er­a­tion, it was con­cluded that the al­le­ga­tions were said Adv Goba.

“It was fur­ther con­sid­ered that there was, on the facts, most of which have not been dis­puted by the ap­pli­cant (Min­is­ter Moyo), an over­whelm­ingly rea­son­able sus­pi­cion that the crimes of fraud, theft, money laun­der­ing and abuse of of­fice had been com­mit­ted by the ap­pli­cant, other per­pe­tra­tors and socii cri­m­inii work­ing as a syn­di­cate or racket,” he said.

“The ap­pli­cant per­son­ally ben­e­fited from the pro­ceeds of fraud­u­lent diver­sion of funds from Zimdef ac­counts, to ac­counts op­er­ated by God­frey Gan­dawa, his deputy, through a ben­e­fi­cially-owned com­pany called Fuzzy Tech­nolo­gies and an­other be­long­ing to an as­so­ciate,” reads Adv Goba’s op­pos­ing af­fi­davit.

To that end, Adv Goba urged the court to dis­miss with costs the con­sti­tu­tional chal­lenge by Min­is­ter Moyo and in­stead di­rect that he im­me­di­ately sur­ren­ders him­self to the in­ves­ti­ga­tors and ap­pear be­fore a well­sub­stan­ti­ated,” mag­is­trate to an­swer to the charges. “The ap­pli­ca­tion should be dis­missed with the con­tempt it richly de­serves with costs on the higher scale and or­der that the ap­pli­cant sur­ren­ders to the in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer for pur­poses of ap­pear­ance be­fore a mag­is­trate within 24 hours of the or­der of this Hon­ourable Court in ac­cor­dance with due process,” he said. Adv Goba and his team of chief law of­fi­cers also picked from the docket that Min­is­ter Moyo had au­tho­rised var­i­ous trans­ac­tions in which Zimdef lost close to $500 000. “The ap­pli­cant, on sev­eral oc­ca­sions, ap­proved fraud­u­lent trans­ac­tions which au­tho­rised the re­lease of funds to Fuzzy Tech­nolo­gies and was at the end, among others, the re­cip­i­ent of some of the funds by way of cash loans and pay­ments from goods such as bi­cy­cles and tri­cy­cles for chiefs and vil­lagers in his Tsholot­sho con­stituency and fur­ni­ture, as well as for un­ver­i­fi­able ser­vices pur­port­edly ren­dered by other per­sons.

“An amount of al­most half a mil­lion United States dol­lars in pub­lic funds, a very sub­stan­tial amount by any ac­count, is in­volved,” reads the af­fi­davit.

Adv Goba de­nied ever di­rect­ing the po­lice to ar­rest Min­is­ter Moyo, but in­stead said he only di­rected the Po­lice Com­mis­sioner-Gen­eral to fol­low due process of the law and as­sist in the fi­nal­i­sa­tion of in­ves­ti­ga­tions by the Zim­babwe Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion.

The Act­ing PG said Min­is­ter Moyo did not de­serve to be treated dif­fer­ently from other sus­pects.

“In the premise, it is re­spect­fully submitted that the prin­ci­ple of equal­ity be­fore the law and the right to equal pro­tec­tion and ben­e­fit of the law en­shrined in Sec­tion 50 of the Con­sti­tu­tion is sacro­sanct and must be ob­served.

“The wheels of jus­tice must be al­lowed to swiftly turn so that jus­tice is not only done, but is seen to be done,” he said.

“I sub­mit that ap­pli­cant’s ap­pli­ca­tion is un­prece­dented, vi­o­lates the equal­ity clause un­der Sec­tion 50 of the Con­sti­tu­tion, is pre­ma­ture and wholly de­void of merit,” he said.

Min­is­ter Moyo ear­lier this month ap­proached the apex court a day af­ter his re­lease chal­leng­ing the man­ner in which he was ar­rested by Zacc on al­le­ga­tions of abus­ing in ex­cess of $400 000 of Zimdef funds.

Chief Jus­tice God­frey Chidyausiku sus­pended the ar­rest of Min­is­ter Moyo, who was be­ing rep­re­sented by Ad­vo­cate Lewis Uriri in­structed by Mr Ter­rence Hus­sein, with the con­sent of the State.

In his main ap­pli­ca­tion, Min­is­ter Moyo is ques­tion­ing the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of his ar­rest by Zacc and the role played by the po­lice.

He ar­gues that Zacc does not, in terms of the Con­sti­tu­tion, have the power to ar­rest and de­tain sus­pects.

He also ar­gues that the PG does not, in terms of the Con­sti­tu­tion, have the power to or­der the po­lice to ar­rest an in­di­vid­ual.

He sought to stop his ap­pear­ance in court, de­scrib­ing it as an il­le­gal­ity.

The in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer, Sergeant Mun­yaradzi Chacha, he ar­gued, could not be part of Zacc and the po­lice at the same time, while Mr Goba had no power to or­der his ar­rest.

The court di­rected the par­ties to file all the rel­e­vant pa­pers by De­cem­ber 2 this year, be­fore the Regis­trar of the Con­sti­tu­tional Court set the mat­ter down for hear­ing be­fore a full bench of the apex court.

Pro­fes­sor Jonathan Moyo

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