EXPOSED:Jonathan Moyo implicated in $6 million fraud

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Harare – Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of Higher Education and Technology, is heavily implicated in a corruption scandal involving about $6 million siphoned from the Ford Foundation, according to an audit report.

The money, which according to an independent audit report compiled by accountants PriceWaterhouseCoopers, was meant for a Nairobi-based non-governmental organisation, the Series on Alternative Research in East Africa Trust (Sareat).

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Moyo is a former lecturer at the University of Witwatersrand.

The audit shows questionable expenditures of US$61 644 out of a grant of US$127 000.

Part of the audit report: “Expenditure on unapproved projects includes US$40 858 relating to scholarship costs to Milka Okidy [a former employee of the Foundation]and US$5 073 given as advance to support Generations activities under Professor Jonathan Moyo.”

Generations is a South African-based television series, aired on the SABC, once sponsored by Moyo.

The audit, carried out in June last year, shows that Moyo, then a programme officer with the Ford Foundation in Nairobi, received $6 215 000 from the Foundation and used it for unclear purposes.

Moyo received US$5 073 (ZIM$279 015) from the first grant and a subsequent US $287 000 meant for Sareat. Out of this, Moyo walked away with US$108 000 ($5 940 000), an amount allegedly paid through his lawyers, Edward Nathan Friedlands Inc.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has since moved in to investigate allegations of impersonation and money laundering involving Moyo and his colleagues at the Ford offices in Nairobi.

A copy of the draft audit, dated March 20, 2000 and addressed to Katharine Paterson, the Ford Foundation representative in Nairobi, Moyo benefited from two grants intended for Sareat.

In another instance, the auditors questioned an expenditure of US$124 264. The summary audit reads: “Out of this, US$108 000 was paid by Sareat to Professor Jonathan Moyo through his lawyer, Mrs Edward Nathan and Friedlands Inc for the support of Generations activities.”

The audit covers the period between September 1997 and August 31, 1999 for one disbursement to Sareat and the period between December 1997 and November 30, 1999.

Correspondence between Moyo and Gowher Rizvi, the then deputy director of the Foundation in New York, suggests that Moyo wanted Rizvi to secretly add money on the Sareat budget.

Moyo wrote a letter to Rizvi on December 7, 1997 in which he outlined details of a plan to have US$88 000 made available to him.

Part of Moyo’s letter to Rizvi reads: “However, and this is very important, all of this would have to be informal … I have discussed all this with Nick and he is supportive but he does not want to ‘know’ anything – officially that is. I am copying this to him for his information only – not for the record.”

Nick Menzies was the then acting representative of the Foundation in Nairobi.

The Ford Foundation has since sued Moyo and some officials within Sareat for allegedly defrauding the donor agency.

While the case is still pending in Nairobi, Mutahi Ngunyi, the director of Sareat and a defendant in the civil suit, has called in the FBI to investigate the matter, alleging that Moyo and his colleagues in Nairobi and New York used his organisation as a conduit to siphon funds.

Sareat officials alleged that Ford officials would forge letters and add extra funds onto their budgets, which they would then be asked to transfer to, among others, Jonathan Moyo.

The FBI is expected to interview Ford officials and staff at PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

The auditors have only released a draft audit and not the full report which chronicles the alleged fraud by Moyo and his colleagues. – Media24 Africa Service

*Although this report was first made in 2001, we republish in the interest of our readers.

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