HIGHER and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo yesterday threatened to sue Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, several State institutions, Zimpapers and its journalists following revelations that he siphoned more than $400 000 from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund.
He also threatened legal action against Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Christopher Mushohwe and Permanent Secretary Mr George Charamba, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and the National Prosecuting Authority.
Prof Moyo, who issued a statement via the private media, attacked constitutionally established independent commissions principally the NPA and ZACC. He described as “patently unlawful” the appointment of members to the two bodies.
President Mugabe swore-in the members appointed to those bodies in February.
In his statement, which did not address the charges levelled against him, Prof Moyo claimed he was a victim of succession politics. Lawyers said the tactics being used by Prof Moyo were not competent defences in a court of law.
Prof Moyo, who has admitted to diverting the Zimdef funds to his constituency, said the NPA was improperly constituted and the appointment of acting Prosecutor General Ray Gova was unlawful. “Recent events in the country have put in plain sight the undesirability of persons from other agencies and organisations of Government being seconded to institutions such as the NPA,” he said.
“Section 261 (3) prohibits this. The NPA therefore is improperly constituted to the extent of the participation of these officers who are active members of these organisations and have their own allegiance to their parent organisations. Taken together with the disqualification of Gova and the open factional capture, which is ongoing, it is clear that the NPA is illegally constituted in violation of the Constitution thus rendering its decisions since Gova’s appointment void ab initio.”
Prof Moyo is accused of siphoning the money in connivance with his deputy Dr Godfrey Gandawa. Zimdef funds are meant to support students at tertiary institutions.
Information from ZACC shows that the pair siphoned the money through shelf companies and Dr Gandawa’s personal account. At one point, Dr Gandawa bought personal furniture from the proceeds, while Prof Moyo confirmed buying bicycles for people in his constituency.
However, Prof Moyo and his deputy’s actions have been roundly condemned by the Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ) that contributes 100 percent of the money to Zimdef to train the country’s manpower and to equip technical colleges and polytechnics with state of the art-equipment.
Some students’ unions who are the sole beneficiaries of the fund have condemned Prof Moyo for likening himself to the legendary fictional character, Robin Hood, the prince of thieves who robbed the rich to give to the poor.