29 September 2017

Zimbabwe: The Law vs Jonathan Moyo - How Does He Avoid Prosecution?

Photo: The Herald
Jonathan Moyo cartoon.
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Cape Town — "Perennial wisdom from divine revelation and human experience dictates that all earthly things great or small, beautiful or ugly, good or bad, sad or happy, foolish or wise must finally come to an end. It is from this sobering reality that the end of executive rule has finally come for Robert Mugabe who has had his better days after a quarter of a century in power".

These were the words of Jonathan Moyo in 2005, who then had evolved from the driving force in President Robert Mugabe's government to becoming a sharp critic of Mugabe after being fired after an internal power struggle. But this is the same man who's currently minister of higher education and allies with the world's oldest head of state.

But somehow maintaining his political relevance by moving between criticising and supporting the president is not the only way Moyo has shown he is a survivor.

Moyo has been implicated in several legal cases, and no one's really sure if they are open or shut.

Here's all the times the minister has faced legal action, but walked away unscathed:

Ford Foundation

In a civil action filed in January, 2001, the then minister of state for Information and publicity Jonathan Moyo was accused of siphoning U.S.$108 000 from his former employer the Ford Foundation when he was a programme director in Nairobi, Kenya, from September 1993 to December 1997.

He then moved to South Africa's Witwatersrand University in 1998 under that cloud. In 2001, Moyo failed in a court bid to prevent the Zimbabwe Independent reporting on his case in Kenya.

Wits University

After moving to South Africa's University of Witwatersrand to work on a project, the university later claimed that he had vanished with part of a R100 million research grant for the project.

In October 2006 Moeletsi Mbeki, younger brother of former South African President Thabo Mbeki, and Witwatersrand University separately applied for an order to have Moyo jailed the next time he visits South Africa.

Domestic Violence

Several reports including one in January 2010 by veteran journalist Wilf Mbanga alleged that Moyo had evaded arrest for kidnapping his own daughters and fled to Kenya after losing a bitter divorce case from his former wife.

Mbanga added that Moyo was dragged to court over domestic violence although in 2003, his wife filed a lawsuit against The Daily News for damages allegedly caused by the article republished by the paper.

Zimdef Fraud

In 2016 , it was reported that anti-corruption officials wanted to arrest Moyo over allegations that he had diverted U.S.$270 000 in student funds. Instead the money was partly used to buy bicycles and organise a march in support of President Robert Mugabe.

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission investigators have claimed Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko was interfering in their operations and stopped them from proceeding with the matter.

But now it seems Moyo's action are catching up with him - he's lost a Concourt challenge

In September 2017, the Constitutional Court dismissed Moyo's bid to challenge his arrest by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and his refusal to appear before a magistrate for criminal abuse of office. Moyo has not been arrested and - if past experience is anything to go by - it is not likely that he will be.

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