Freeman Razemba, Harare Bureau
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has dismissed allegations by Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo that it is using stolen documents to nail him in a corruption probe as a “frivolous and malicious attempt to defeat the course of justice”.
This comes after media reports that Prof Moyo wrote to Police Commissioner-General Dr Augustine Chihuri requesting him to investigate the Commission for stealing documents which they later used to build a corruption case against him.
It was reported that in a letter to Dr Chihuri, the minister claimed he was given a directive by Cabinet to seek police intervention in the matter.
ZACC spokesperson Ms Phyllis Chikundura yesterday said the commission’s investigative mandate was executed and guided by the relevant provisions of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (Chapter 9:07).
“Proof of commission of any offence of corruption by any accused person is based on supporting documentary evidence legally and procedurally obtained,” she said.
“All documents that ZACC uses in its investigations will be and are clean. The warrants of search and seizure are a product of court orders obtained from a magistrate upon application to his/her satisfaction.”
Ms Chikundura said at no time did ZACC use any illegally and unlawfully obtained documentary evidence in any investigation.
“ZACC is not aware of any documents obtained through other means except the one indicated above,” she said.
“For avoidance of doubt, it will be clearly illogical and unreasonable to purport that ZACC could have engaged in crime to obtain documentary evidence when we were legally armed with court orders warranting us to be given such documents.
“Any allegation raised against ZACC for purportedly using illegally obtained evidence is frivolous and malicious and should be treated as a blatant lie with the contempt it deserves. The opening of one’s mouth faster than the allegations are coming creates a suspicion of attempting to defeat the course of justice.”
Prof Moyo, his deputy Dr Godfrey Gandawa and Zimdef finance director Mr Nicholas Mapute, stand accused of abusing nearly $500 000 belonging to the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef).
They were arrested by the ZACC.
Legislators were stunned on Monday after Prof Moyo accused the ZACC of being behind a break-in at his offices in August last year.
He accused ZACC of leaking the information to the media and several documents he said the anti-graft body “unlawfully got” from his offices at the New Government Complex.