PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe must drop Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo before his tattered legacy is soiled even further, a former Cabinet minister has said.
Former War Veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa made the call on Monday following reports of Moyo’s alleged abuse of over $400 000 siphoned from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef).
“He (Mugabe) should wake up to the reality of Moyo as hopelessly damaged goods. He has no iota of honour and must dump this trash can minister to salvage his increasingly tainted legacy,” he said.
“(He) must dump this crime-ridden minister to salvage his increasingly soiled legacy. How can Mugabe’s most trusted official be a thief and fraudster with a sordid historical background of wartime deserter-turned-traitor?
“It’s tragic when an iconic African leader in his twilight hour, stakes his political legacy to two petty and parochial lightweights. The two (Moyo and Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko) have no gravitas in the party of the revolution. They can only weigh down their appointing chief with their obstinacy in the face of patent and admitted criminality.”
Mutsvangwa claimed Moyo was taking advantage of Mugabe’s old age to manipulate the President.
Mutsvangwa was dropped from Cabinet early this year as part of the ongoing internal fight to succeed Mugabe, but he has clung on to his position as leader of the former freedom fighters.
Moyo is accused of abusing Zimdef funds for personal gain, including propping up his political fortunes in Tsholotsho North constituency. He has maintained that his actions were justified, as the money had benefited Zanu PF programmes, including the youth league’s million-man march.
Recent attempts by officials from the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to arrest Moyo reportedly hit a snag after both Mugabe and Mphoko shielded him.
Mutsvangwa had no kind words for Mphoko, whom he also described as a war deserter, fond of protecting suspected criminals.
Mphoko recently grabbed headlines after forcing officers at Avondale Police Station to release two Zinara executives, who had been arrested on corruption allegations.
The VP on Sunday vowed to continue defending Moyo, claiming the Higher Education minister was being hounded by his political enemies within the ruling Zanu PF party.
Efforts to get a comment from Moyo and Mphoko were fruitless on Monday.