By Staff Reporter
Harare, November 03, 2016 – HIGHER and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo is set to appear in court this Thursday facing abuse of office and fraud charges.
After weeks of ducking and diving following corruption allegations against him, the embattled minister finally handed himself over to the Zimbabwe anti-corruption commission (Zacc) just around 3pm on Wednesday in the company of his lawyer, Terrence Hussein.
Moyo, together with his deputy Godfrey Gandawa, are accused of embezzling over $400,000 in funds belonging to the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef).
The funds were being administered by the two’s ministry.
Moyo, who has scorned Zacc for allegedly allowing itself to be used by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to spite Zanu PF rivals, spent nearly five hours at the Zacc offices in Harare’s Mount Peasant suburb where a warned a cautioned statement was recorded.
He was later released in the custody of his lawyer pending his court appearance this Thursday.
The Tsholotsho North legislator will appear in court together with Gandawa, Zimdef CEO Fredrick Mandizvidza and Zimdef principal director (finance) Nicholas Mapute.
Moyo’s arrest is the first high profile prosecution of a sitting Zanu PF cabinet minister for corruption in many years.
Despite overwhelming evidence linking Zanu PF officials to acts of corruption in the country, President Robert Mugabe has been reluctant to clear the prosecution of any of his cronies, rather descending heavily on them when they committed offences he so found to be detrimental to his continued hold on power.
Moyo himself was once bundled out of government by President Mugabe 2005 after he found himself submerged in what was later described as a botched attempt to impose Mnangagwa as vice president ahead of Joice Mujuru, who later ascended to the post.
Mujuru has since been ousted as VP and later expelled from Zanu PF for allegedly fronting a plot to topple President Mugabe.
Moyo on Tuesday penned a strongly worded statement in which he threatened to sue Mnangagwa, Media and Broadcasting Services minister Chris Mushowe, the latter’s permanent secretary George Charamba, some ZimPapers management and journalists for allegedly being part of an elaborate ploy to smudge him.
Moyo denies the corruption allegations.
He however admits diverting some of the funds towards constituency based activities in Tsholotsho.
President Mugabe has maintained a conspicuous silence at a time his one time fierce defender faces political extermination.