HIGHER and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo has written to President Robert Mugabe and the chief secretary to the President and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda, claiming he was a victim of a factional agenda, as he targets a Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) member, Goodson Nguni, whom he accuses of being the author of his woes.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE/EVERSON MUSHAVA
Moyo, accused of abusing more than $400 000 from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef), has begun spirited efforts to clear his name, but, in the process, may inadvertently have revealed how Zanu PF uses State institutions to fund its party programmes.
According to documents gleaned by NewsDay, Moyo, in a letter to Sibanda last Wednesday, said he was filing a police report against Nguni, whom he accused of acting corruptly and unlawfully releasing documents to journalists and one unnamed Cabinet minister, who appeared to be in a different factional camp from the Tsholotsho North legislator’s.
In a separate letter to Mugabe, dated September 29, Moyo makes a slew of allegations against Nguni, whom he sees as the villain in the case that seems to be rocking the foundations of government.
Moyo claims Nguni started persecuting him after he was allegedly bribed by a fellow Cabinet minister.
“I will not submit myself to any Zacc investigation, whose investigation committee is headed by Goodson Nguni, who has proven beyond any reasonable doubt that his committee is no better than a kangaroo outfit pursuing a factional agenda,” he wrote to Sibanda.
“I am prepared and ready to assert this right by taking the matter to the Constitutional Court.”
According to the letters gleaned by NewsDay, Moyo also revealed that he was in possession of incriminating evidence against Nguni and other senior Zanu PF officials, who were allegedly abusing Zacc for their own personal interests.
Part of the evidence contained in Moyo’s letters dates back to early this year when Zanu PF youths requested for funding to host Mugabe’s birthday party in Masvingo and $75 000 released to the Zimbabwe Confederation of Student Unions (Zicosu) and a detailed report of funding to the women’s league.
In the letters, Moyo accused Nguni of being used by a faction in Zanu PF allegedly against programmes implemented by First Lady Grace Mugabe.
Moyo also claimed Nguni became livid after Zimdef funded a meeting of a faction of the war veterans’ association led by Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene.
In his submissions to Mugabe, Moyo said Zacc deliberately decided not to investigate ICT minister Supa Mandiwanzira and his firm — AB Communications — which was the implementing partner for Zimdef projects.
Documents suggest that Zimdef used Mandiwanzira’s firm to fund Zanu PF projects with the company raising invoices purporting to have used the money for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) projects.
“AB Communications also played a role in the build-up to the event (million-man march) and the main event,” deputy minister, Godfrey Gandawa wrote to Moyo in a letter attached to the correspondence sent to the President.
“The AB Communications expenditure covered multimedia, logistics, streaming and further provision of flags.
“You shall note that while the invoices attached read Stem, the payment was in actual fact for the million-man march. The total cost through AB Communications was $181 633,43
“AB Communications further ran the multimedia campaign for the meeting of war veterans with His Excellency the President after the communiqué, which sought to undermine the authority of the President.
“The total expenditure for the war veterans meeting was $79 175,43. Please note that while the AB Communications invoices state Stem, it is the multimedia for the war veterans meeting.”
The government, through Moyo’s ministry, is implementing a Stem project, which seeks to encourage students to take up science subjects by paying their tuition fees, among other incentives.
Moyo also claimed his donation of computers and bicycles to schools and traditional leaders in Tsholotsho North was aimed at promoting Stem in the constituency.
The project — according to documents seen — has been a conduit to siphon public resources to fund Zanu PF projects.
Several letters and receipts from the party were attached to Moyo’s letter to Mugabe as evidence that the money had been for party business.
Moyo — according to the documents allegedly submitted to Mugabe — said his deputy, Gandawa — who is also under investigation by the commission on allegations of fraud and abuse of office — funded the First Lady’s campaign rally in Rushinga.
“As you may be aware that we got a request on October 13, 2015 from the national political commissar (Saviour Kasukuwere) to support the First Lady’s Rushinga rally with computers and logistics for the women’s league and the youth to participate, the rally was to take place within 24 hours and put extreme pressure on the processing of the requirements,” he wrote.
In a rare admission, the Tsholotsho North MP conceded to Mugabe that he erred when he allowed Gandawa’s private company — Fuzzy Technologies — to implement some of the projects
“I wish to place on record the fact that the implementation of the support given to the women and youth programmes had some shortcomings that had to be rectified in order to avoid them in the future. The shortcomings arose from judgmental errors,” he wrote.
“For example, while I understand the reason why the deputy minister, Gandawa, had to use Fuzzy Technologies in a number of key and sensitive transactions, the fact that he owns this company should have disqualified it to avoid misunderstandings such as have arisen. But this was due to the nature of the task at hand.
“In the interest of justice, the matter of alleged corruption at Zimdef should be handled in terms of section 255 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, which enjoins Zacc ‘to direct the Commissioner-General of Police to investigate cases of suspected corruption and to report to the commission on the results of any such investigations’.
“Only the police can professionally and impartially investigate not only the allegations against Zimdef as well as against the deputy minister and myself, but also against some Zacc officials and commissioners.”
Moyo, Sibanda and Mugabe’s spokesperson, George Charamba were unreachable for comment yesterday. Nguni referred questions to Zacc spokesperson, Phyllis Chikundura, who declined to comment on the matter.
Last week, Moyo narrowly escaped arrest by Zacc investigators on allegations he siphoned money from Zimdef.