Monday, 10 October 2016


Advocate Fadzayi Mahere
It came to light this weekend that Prof Jonathan Moyo is the subject of investigations by the Anti-Corruption Commission relating to a charge of mismanaging national manpower development funds. 

Upon receiving information of an intention to secure his arrest for corruption charges, Prof Moyo proceeded to unleash an unbridled, incoherent and panicky rant on Twitter wherein he vacillated between effectively confessing to corruption (as he compared himself to Robin Hood), justifying the fraud on the grounds that the money went to a worthy cause (namely his underdeveloped constituency) and accusing the Anti-Corruption Commission of discriminating against him on tribal grounds - how come those who are corrupt but of a different tribe are permitted to go free? - was his line of reasoning.

I prefer generally to ignore Prof Moyo and his utterances because he is the trusted establishment propagandist. Along the way somewhere, one of his core duties became to defend anything ZANU PF, no matter how unlawful or irrational. It's difficult to have a sensible conversation with a sycophant, particularly of the ZANU PF kind. I normally disregard him. However, his remarks this weekend which sought to justify his maladministration were a huge insult to the intelligence of the citizenry. It's one thing to mismanage public funds - it's quite another to publicly and shamelessly attempt to justify such abhorrent conduct. A reasonable man in a similar position would have opted to hide in a deep hole and only to resurface in many months' time. But no - his pride and misplaced intellect got in the way. The professor went so far as to claim that the ZANU PF 'Million Man March' organized earlier this year in response to demonstrations by Tajamuka and sundry citizen groups were a 'national event' thus the use of taxpayers' money to support this was justified! (Please pass me a bucket.)

Whatever happened to good old 'nyadzi'? In a different jurisdiction, he would have remained silent and tendered a resignation. It's clear that those in authority over us feel no need to mask their maladministration as they believe themselves to be above the law. "Mungatidii?" is a common retort espoused by them. And so Prof Moyo accused anyone who chose to raise the issue of tribalism or factionalism. This is the same man who retorted to others once found in a similar position to 'carry their own cross' and not burden the system with protecting them when faced with allegations of corruption.

That the expose is a result of factional fighting need not detain us. It is alleged that the Lacoste faction is behind the proposed charges. With respect, to the ordinary citizen, that's not a defence. We paid taxes for manpower development. It is not for a Minister to arrogate to himself the power to use those funds for something else. If as he claims, other people in ZANU PF including the Lacoste faction are corrupt, then he should expose them rather than suggest that he be left alone - nonsense upon stilts.

It bears mentioning that the Anti-Corruption Commission does have the power in terms of section 255(1)(a) of the Constitution to investigate and expose corruption in government and the power to "direct" (not recommend) the Commissioner General of Police to investigate corruption in terms of section 255(1)(e) of the Constitution.

There is a mistaken belief on the part of the Vice President, Mr Mphoko - which belief is shared by most members of ZANU PF, that the President has to sign off on every matter of state, including the arrest of a Cabinet Minister for alleged corruption. This misconceived attitude betrays a confusion amongst those in government between ZANU PF protocol (read cult behaviour) and what is required, expected and permissible as a matter of law - as set out in the Constitution which binds us all, including the Head of State.

The duties of the President are set out in section 90 of the Constitution. In terms of this section, the President does not have the power or duty to authorise the arrest of anyone. Rather, according to section 258 of the Constitution, the National Prosecuting Authority is responsible for instituting and undertaking criminal prosecutions on behalf of the State and for discharging any functions that are necessary or incidental to such prosecutions. The Prosecutor-General is the head of the National Prosecuting Authority. The Prosecutor General, according to section 260(1) of the Constitution is "independent and is not subject to the direction or control of anyone", the President included. Section 260(1)(b) further mandates the Prosecutor-General to exercise his functions "impartially and without fear, favour, prejudice or bias". It is not open to the Prosecutor-General to act in favour of ZANU PF politicians, no matter how high-ranking they are in government.

Moreover, in terms of section 219(1) of the Constitution, the Police Service is responsible for detecting, investigating and preventing crime. Section 219(3) of the Constitution obliges the Police Service to be non-partisan - which means that it cannot be guided by party politics or strong-handed interference by the President in the execution of its functions.

There is clearly no requirement at law that subjects any of these processes to the caprice of the Head of State, with respect. There is nothing that obliges citizens to wait until the law takes its course in this regard. The Minister, faced with such charges is under an obligation to issue a statement accepting or denying these charges. If he has no satisfactory explanation for the alleged maladministration, we are entitled to be outraged and to demand that he return our hard-earned tax money. At a minimum, we deserve more than a few insolent tweets to make this go away?
Allow us please to demand better and more for ourselves and our national pride.
Let's make Zimbabwe great again.


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