The Sunday News
ZANU-PF Secretary for Administration Dr Ignatius Chombo has refuted claims that he wrote a letter absolving Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo in the US$430 000 corruption allegations.
Over the past few weeks, a letter purportedly written by Dr Chombo has been circulating indicating that Prof Moyo had indeed used the US$430 000 from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund to fund Zanu-PF activities.
Dr Chombo spoke as a special Zanu-PF panel mandated to investigate the corruption allegations against Prof Moyo said it had completed its probe and had already handed over its report to the Zanu-PF leadership.
In an interview with our Harare Bureau, committee chair Advocate Jacob Mudenda confirmed concluding the investigation, but would not be drawn into giving further details.
“We have finished our work and have reported the outcome to the superiors. This was an internal matter so I am not at liberty to disclose anything to you,” said Adv Mudenda, who is also National Assembly Speaker.
Dr Chombo told our Harare Bureau that he was not directly involved in the committee’s work, and did not issue any communication absolving Prof Moyo.
Some Press reports had suggested last week that Dr Chombo — also Home Affairs Minister — wrote to Prof Moyo’s lawyers on behalf of President Mugabe “clearing him” of any wrongdoing.
But Dr Chombo said, “There were reports that I wrote a letter to affirm the position of the committee that was established (to probe corruption allegations against party Secretary for Science and Technology Professor Jonathan Moyo). I have nothing to do with that letter. It was news to me. Cde Mudenda is the person who is rightfully mandated to handle that matter. I am not a member of that committee.”
Prof Moyo is accused of siphoning US$430 000 from Zimdef alongside his deputy, Dr Godfrey Gandawa.
It is alleged the two took the money through shelf companies Wisebone Trading and Fuzzy Technologies.
Dr Gandawa owns Fuzzy Technologies, and has since been arrested, with his matter now before the courts.
Prof Moyo has contested the charges in the Constitutional Court, though he has tacitly admitted, via social media, to diverting the money. He has also claimed the allegations are motivated by tribalism and has sued the public media for reporting the investigation.
When the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission started actively pursuing the matter in October 2016, Zanu-PF assembled the Mudenda-led panel as part of internal party processes.
Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba is on record saying the Zanu-PF probe did not seek to undermine Zacc’s investigation, but was done at the instigation of President Mugabe who does not want the party to be funded through ill-gotten gains.
Mr Charamba said President Mugabe did not authorise the establishment of the committee to forestall other legal processes, but its formation arose to attend to issues relating to ethos of the party and inter-personal relations in the interests of maintaining harmony within Zanu-PF.
Turning to the forthcoming 16th Zanu-PF Annual National People’s Conference to be held in Masvingo, Dr Chombo indicated that corruption would be discussed at the conference. He said most of the party’s provinces had submitted resolutions for Conference consideration, adding that Mashonaland Central was among those yet to do so.
The province’s acting chair, Cde Dickson Mafios, is in the eye of a storm for attacking the party’s “one-centre-of-power” principle, and pushing for the election of President Mugabe’s deputies. Presently, President Mugabe is empowered by the Zanu-PF constitution to pick Vice-Presidents.
Dr Chombo said, “Our Secretary for Legal Affairs, Cde Patrick Chinamasa, is looking at resolutions that have been made by provinces. He will consolidate those resolutions, according to their popularity across the provinces. So, if a single resolution is made and has no support from other provinces, it is unlikely to find its way onto the main agenda.
“I can say the majority of resolutions have been brought in from the provinces. I am yet to see the so-called Mafioso resolution (challenging the appointment of Vice-Presidents by President Mugabe) from Mashonaland Central, which made headlines in the papers. The Conference’s main agenda will revolve around progress on Zim-Asset, with Cabinet ministers expected to update delegates on progress made in implementing the blueprint.”