MINISTER of State for Information and Publicity Jonathan Moyo’s fraud case in Kenya, where he stands accused of siphoning US$108 000 from his former employer, the Ford Foundation, has finally got under way.
The hearing into the case began on Tuesday before the Kenyan High Court but Justice Onesmus Mutungi postponed the matter to allow parties involved to prepare for four consecutive days of trial, reports from Nairobi say.
Four witnesses are expected from the United States, where the Ford Foundation is based, to testify in a civil action filed on January 22, 2001.
The Ford Foundation has been suing Moyo and five others for allegedly misusing US$414 000 advanced to the Series on Alternative Research in East Africa Trust (Sareat) for studies on policy issues.
Others sued in the case include Sareat director Mutahi Ngunyi, Joshua Nyunya, Milka Wanjiru Njuguna-Okidi, Monicah Wanjiru and Talunoza Trust.
Talunoza, an organisation named after Moyo’s children, was allegedly used as a conduit to transfer funds that the minister later used to buy a house in South Africa. Moyo has strongly denied the allegations.
Moyo was a programme officerat the Ford Foundation in Nairobifrom September 15 1993 to Dece-mber 31 1997 before he moved toSouth Africa’s Witwatersrand University in 1998.
Ford Foundation alleged Moyo, in collusion with Sareat trustees and an accountant at the donor agency’s Kenyan office, received US$108 000 either in person or through his nominee.
Moyo was said to have later set up Talunoza Trust to siphon funds from Sareat for his personal use.
Ford has alleged Moyo received US$10 000 from Sareat directly into his personal bank account through a bank telegraphic transfer dated January 23, 1998. On February 4, 1998 he is said to have obtained US$58 000 through a “nominated account” in South Africa. On the same date, Moyo also received US$40 000 by bank telegraphic transfer, it was claimed.
Ford alleged that Moyo “unlawfully” received in total US$108 000either by himself or through his nominee. It also claimed Moyo, either in collusion or partnership with Sareat and Ngunyi, directed US$98 000 to be paid to his nominated account in South Africa.
Moyo in 2001 failed in a court bid to prevent the Zimbabwe Independent reporting on his case in Kenya.
Justice Chinhengo ruled that whatever the merits of the case, the Kenya summons clearly alleged fraud and misappropriation.