By Elias Mambo | Zimbabwe Independent |
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) has embarked on a fresh investigation of Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo as it emerges that US$5 million meant for the digitisation programme and the Information and Media Panel of Inquiry (Impi) programme is unaccounted for.
Efforts to get a comment from Moyo were fruitless as his mobile phone went unanswered. A text message sent to him delivered but he did not respond.
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Zacc investigators last week attempted to arrest Moyo at Zanu PF headquarters on allegations that he abused the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) for personal gain. He was saved by President Robert Mugabe.
Moyo was implicated in the abuse of about US$270 000 while his ministry officials allegedly abused close to US$430 000.
Zacc officials told the Independent they believe they have a strong case against Moyo, adding a fresh investigation was underway to scrutinise how he used funds meant for digitisation of broadcasting when he was information minister.
“The commissioners have all agreed that investigations be commenced on how the digitisation funds were used,” one Zacc source said.
While he was information minister, Zimbabwe failed to meet its June 17 2015 digitisation deadline as it required close to US$173 million for the completion of the programme.
“Zacc commissioners have also ordered another investigation on the Impi activities which we believe were used to siphon funds out of government,” the official said.
Impi, conceived by Moyo, was launched in April 2013 to “inquire into, assess and determine the policy, legal, technological, business, human resource and institutional adequacy and readiness in the information sector”.
The panel consisted of editors from the public and private media, marketing and advertising representatives, information and communications technology experts, civil society members and other professionals. The team travelled around the country, holding public hearings to collect information on media issues.
Impi was funded to the tune of US$1,6 million by Treasury.
Zacc sources said two brand-new Prado vehicles were purchased and allegedly given to Moyo and presidential spokesperson George Charamba.
Moyo, however, believes he is being targeted by his political rivals using Commissioner Goodson Nguni. Documents seen by this paper show that Moyo has mounted a vigorous defence alleging that much of the funds siphoned out of Zimdef were used to finance Zanu PF activities.
In his letter addressed to President Robert Mugabe, Moyo alleges that:
“The ministry has been targeted for malicious actions and the evidence we have clearly points to the fact that this is because of our support between October 2015 and September 2016 for Women’s and Youth programmes through Zimdef at the request of the national commissar, in particular the million man march which some including within Zacc wanted to see fail”.
“We also supported the party’s national youth league national assembly which would not have taken place without the accommodation, catering and transport assistance that we provided.”
In a letter to Moyo dated November 25, Gandawa said: “You are aware, Honourable minister that we were further asked to provide cash to the Women’s League for other logistics and l gave US$20 000 to Honourable Sarah Mahoka and Honourable Sandy Moyo at Minister (Saviour) Kasukuwere’s local government offices”.
Nguni yesterday dismissed reports that the money siphoned from Zimdef were used to finance Zanu PF activities.
“No monies from Zimdef benefitted any political party. All monies paid out have been traced to the personal benefit of professor Moyo, Gandawa and (Shepherd) Honzeri and (a Mr) Mapute assisted them in these actions,” Nguni said.
“The monies from Zimdef were used to pay for personal furniture, bicycles, tricycles and payment of loans owed by the persons who may be charged,” he said, adding: “The minister can only authorise payments on the advice of the National Manpower Council and, in these payments, that did not happen.”
Nguni also said Zacc investigations are from 2014 up to 2015 yet the alleged funding of the “million-man march” happened in May 2016.
The Zimbabwe Independent also gleaned an affidavit by Walter Chasara who was employed by deputy minister Godfrey Gandawa as the chief executive officer of his company Fuzzy Technologies. Fuzzy Technologies was allegedly used as a conduit to siphon money from Zimdef.
According to the affidavit: “Fuzzy Technologies was formed in April 2015 with its directors being the accused person (Gandawa) and his daughter.”
“I got to know about this company when I was director of Wisebone Trading. My company was invited by Gandawa to do business with his ministry and his company.”
“The ministry was going to fund our supplies through Zimdef, where the second accused (Fredrick Mandizvidza) is chief executive officer,” reads part of the affidavit.
Chasara also said that at their first meeting Gandawa told him to make a quotation of printers valued at US$95 800 which was deposited in Wisebone’s Cabs account (account number 1002845262) on November 12 2015.
He also said from then onwards Gandawa made withdrawals of US$7 000 (November 17), US$2 500 (November 19), US$9 400 (November 21) and another US$1 000 was given to his friend identified as Mausa.
“On November 21 I got an instruction to transfer US$70 000 into his company account which was cleared on November 23.”
Zacc accuses Moyo, Gandawa and Mandizvidza of converting the money to their own use. Zacc further alleges that of the US$95 800, a total of US$26 280 was used to purchase 241 bicycles which were distributed by Moyo in Tsholotsho.
According to Zacc, “on 28/12/15 US$19 030 was transferred from Gandawa’s company bank account to Ace Cycles for the purchase of bicycles. Another similar transfer of US$7 260 was made on 26/01/2016 for the purchase of additional bicycles.”
“The bicycles were for Prof Jonathan Moyo and he duly accepted them and distributed them in his constituency of Tsholotsho.
However, in his affidavit Gandawa said:
“With respect to the US$95 800, this involved support for a sensitive programme to complement the presidential computer programme. The distribution took place at a public meeting attended by various people and schools where the First Lady (Grace Mugabe) was guest of honour”.