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.
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Dr Gandawa then transferred $27 550 to SKM Motorcycles for 10 tri-cycles for Prof Moyo and the balance was withdrawn in cash.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 He also transferred $12 900 to Wisebone Trading as capital to finance his personal business and the remainder was withdrawn in cash.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 secretary-general 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 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 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).