Harare – Zimbabwe’s first lady, Grace Mugabe today suffered a huge setback as her key ally, Minister of Higher Education, Jonathan Moyo had his arrest challenge thrown out by the country’s constitutional court.
Moyo had approached the courts, seeking to have them rule that his arrest / detention by the country’s anti-graft unit, the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission was unprocedural, and unlawful.
Moyo had argued that ZACC did not have arresting powers.
The Anti-Graft body had sought to arrest Moyo on charges of theft, criminal abuse of office, and fraud, after the Minister allegedly diverted funds from his portfolio parastatal Zimbabwe Man Power Development Fund, to personal use.
Moyo was jointly charged with his deputy, who spent a few nights as a guest of the state.
Moyo appeared untouchable just a fortnight ago, when Grace Mugabe publicly defended him during a presidential rally held in Bindura.
The first lady had proclaimed that Moyo was innocent, and was being targeted for factional reasons. At the same rally she pronounced that another ally, Minister Saviour Kasukuwere would bot be going anywhere.
Her husband appeared to contradict her on every other subject on the day in question, although he did not delve into the corruption charges against Moyo.
The dismissal of Moyo’s case today means that he may now face prosecution, something which Grace Mugabe had boldy declared to be impossible.
After the Bindura rally, several analysts argued that Grace Mugabe was nothing but a ‘hot air balloon blowing hot air’, as all of her pronouncements had been contradicted by the most powerful man in the country, the President.
Earlier yesterday, Norton legislator Temba Mliswa told Parliament that First Lady Grace Mugabe had no powers to stop the investigation into Higher Education Minister Jonathan Moyo because she does not have any executive powers.
“I respect the First Family and the First Lady but the First Lady cannot interfere into the duties of the Executive,” he said.
“..when the First Lady is interfering into the work of the Executive then we are asking – what Executive powers has she got to stop an investigation on Jonathan Moyo?
“If I go through my Constitution, I do not see the Executive powers of the First Lady. I see the Executive powers of the President.” he added.
Moyo’s latest set-back is a bigger set-back for Grace Mugabe, who has for the best part of 2 years set her sights on having the country’s Vice President fired, with no success.
- Khuluma Afrika