#MondayBlues: Science & Tech Minister Prof Moyo Will Evade Arrest?

#MondayBlues lately has been forced to test the waters of political analysis, simply because our ministers or ministries they represent, cannot seem to run away from the politics. Ultimately they drag us into their “news” as well.

Science and Technology minister Professor  Jonathan Moyo has been on the headlines on purported graft and corruption charges , a move  seen by many as nothing but a plot against him. The Anti Corruption Commission is seen to pursue political goals.

By Bee Sting

Lest we all forget , this is Prof Moyo we are are talking about here! Anyone who  really thought he could be simply get some plain clothed cops to take him down, then that person suffers serious amnesia.

Remember, he was the first ever candidate to be fired from the party, going ballistic against his former employer before thrashing them at polls. Subsequently Prof Moyo proved  he was much more valuable working from the inside than on the outside.

To millions of us, we know him for driving the STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths agenda  via a ZIMDEF funding, a move which got thousands  of Zimbabweans studying  under the STEM initiative for free. But it seems serious politics is now at play here .

Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Deputy minister Dr Gandawa also involved in the graft
Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Deputy minister Dr Gandawa also involved in the graft

Remember he was the first ever candidate to to be fired from the party and went ballistic against former employer president before thrashing them at polls, subsequently he proved he was much more valuable working from the inside than outside.

To millions of us, we know him for driving the STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths agenda via a ZIMDEF funding, a move which has really got thousands studying for STEM for free but it seems serious politics is now at play here.

Professor Jonathan Moyo is no fool, he is usually two or three moves ahead of his counterparts, and probably the reason he knew of his planned arrest before hand.  He has strong political connections and always plays his cards well. This is politics in Zimbabwe and its all about who you know and how well your ties are. Lest we forget the Prof is closely linked to Vice President Phekezela Mphoko and first lady Grace Mugabe.

Trying to alienate such a candidate takes a lot of witty, and even for a well trained sniper, getting a clear shot is close to impossible, and the action is usually lethal, where the return of such a move is inevitably disastrous.

proffessor-jonathan-moyo-at-stem-bulawayo
Professor Jonathan Moyo at STEM Bulawayo

The Twitter savvy Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Moyo, tweeted

“You can say what you want but I would rather be a Robin Hood than a cruel tribalist, murderer & UN identified cross border diamond thief!”

Robin Hood is a legendary outlaw in English folklore who would steal from the rich to give to the poor. In another tweet, Prof Moyo said: “The state of underdevelopment in Tsholotsho is such that bicycles are a necessity just like matches!”

According to The Herald  Acting President Phelekezela Mphoko yesterday rapped the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) for seeking to arrest Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo at Zanu-pf Headquarters in Harare last week, describing the move as “malicious”.  Acting President Mphoko said ZACC had no powers to arrest a Cabinet Minister without authorisation from the President.

Legal experts, however, said only the President enjoys immunity, with all other citizens being equal before the law. Last Wednesday, a team of ZACC investigators led by chief investigations officer Mr Alex Masiye, in the company of police, reportedly ambushed Prof Moyo while he was attending a Politburo meeting chaired by President Mugabe.

He said the conduct exhibited by ZACC officials was tantamount to undermining the authority of the President.

“If you want to arrest a senior Government official such as a principal director or Permanent Secretary, you need to approach the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, but whenever police intend to arrest a Cabinet Minister, they should first seek permission to do so from the President. What happened is clear malice by people who want to do things the illegal way,” he said.

“What happened is undermining the President. Surely when the President is busy addressing a Politburo meeting and the anti-commission is busy outside plotting to arrest him (Prof Moyo) thereafter. This is like is mutiny in a country.” Acting President Mphoko said no matter how powerful or muscular a politician might appear in the eyes of the public, their powers cannot override Presidential decisions.

He defended Prof Moyo, saying the Minister was just being persecuted for supporting President Mugabe and Zanu-PF.

VP Mphoko also questioned the rationale behind the plot to arrest Prof Moyo in Parliament yet legislators enjoyed Parliamentary immunity. “This is mischievous and we are actually hunting for the person who is behind all this. Members of Parliament have immunity and they cannot be arrested in Parliament, but those boys were given an order to arrest Prof Moyo,” he said.

The ZACC report revealed allegations of fraud and criminal abuse of duty resulting in the embezzlement of hundreds of thousands of dollars received on July 25, 2016, through a whistleblower.

Allegations pointed to corrupt and fraudulent transactions involving the ministry, Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) and two companies namely Fuzzy Technologies (Pvt) Ltd and Wisebone Trading. The Zimbabwe National Students’ Union (Zinasu), last week called for the immediate resignation of Prof Moyo and his deputy Dr Godfrey Gandawa following allegations of corruption involving $270 000 they reportedly siphoned from Zimdef.

Zimdef is a State enterprise in the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, created in terms of Section 47(1) of the Manpower Planning and Development Act. The objective of the fund is to benefit students at tertiary institutions across the country including when they are on industrial attachment.

ZACC wants to interview Prof Moyo and Dr Gandawa and three other public officials in connection with fraud and money laundering allegations involving over $430 000.

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