Moyo’s lawsuit puts Mugabe in spotlight. Is Mugabe still in control of the state?

Editorial Comment

Professor Jonathan Moyo has sued a number of institutions and individuals including Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa in a bit to ward off damaging allegations of abuse of state funds that have haunted him in the last few weeks. However his allegations and statements cast aspersions on President Robert Mugabe’s capacity to perform executive duties than exonerate him.

The man is no stranger to suing his bosses in both the party and government . In 2005  he sued Zanu PF national chairman John Nkomo and politburo member Dumiso Dabengwa for $2 billion each for alleged defamation after accusing them of telling a party meeting in Tsholotsho that he plotted a coup to topple President Mugabe from power in 2004.

He was forced to drop the action against Dabengwa but the action against Nkomo who by then was Vice president proved to be successful. It is unclear what Professor Moyo aims to achieve by this latest action but it is clear that one of his primary objective is to discredit the Zimbabwe Anti-corruption Commission (ZACC) and portray it as serving the partisan succession agenda of Vice President Mnangagwa.

Whether this is accurate or not is debatable but from the statement that Professor Moyo released it does not need a rocket scientist to see that the statement is thin on points of law and very huge on political rhetoric. It makes a lot of political statements that may come back to haunt Moyo. It also exposes him to possible counter law suits by people he accuses of a lot of things.

By this move Moyo has already shown that he has no confidence with the committee comprising of Sydney Sekremayi , Kembo Mohadi amongst others constituted by Mugabe to investigate the allegations raised by Moyo against ZACC. Moyo believes he will get a better shot at justice from the public courts and not from the party process recommended by Mugabe.

Moyo makes a litany of allegations that may not live up to scrutiny in court. He says that Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa directed ZACC to arrest him in pursuit of factional interests. Professor Moyo has no qualms with the investigation as he does not appear to question how the investigations were done. His gripe is with the order to arrest him.

Secondly when ZACC met Mnangagwa , the vice president was the acting President at the time and it is well known that ZACC falls directly under the office of the President. Moyo is infact attacking the decision by the President’s Office to house the anticorruption body. Moyo will need to explain how a body that reports directly to the President is being manipulated by the Vice President.

Moyo furhter alleges that there are people who are not fit and proper candidates to be in the commission. President Mugabe makes all appointments of independent commissions. The buck stops with him. To suggest that Mnagagwa appointed Goodson Nguni is to suggest that Mugabe has lost control of the state and if this is the case then Mugabe is no longer fit for office. Allegations of state capture by Moyo suggest that Mugabe has lost control of the state and this will open Mugabe to political attacks by his opponents. If these allegations are tested an found to be credible , Mugabe will need to explain to the nation how the state has been captured under his watch.

The constitution is clear that it is the President who appoints commissioners of the anticorruption body. ‘The President must appoint the eight Commission members from a list of at least twelve names submitted to him by the CSRO after completion of the preliminary procedures required by section 237 of the Constitution.’ The public nominates names of people which they think are suitable via an advertisement by parliament of Zimbabwe.

At the end of his statement Moyo thanks unknown sources for arming him with damning information and evidence of corruption allegedly practised by his tormentors. If Moyo has any information about corruption that has  ‘deprived current and future generations of their livelihood why is he not reporting it to relevant authorities’. One may be tempted to think that Professor Moyo is bluffing and has only taken the legal route to make his alleged tormentors think twice about pursuing him. He is hoping that his bluff will keep his perceived political opponents at bay.

This action by Professor Moyo appears more political than legal as it is very thin on points of law. I am not a legal expert but I struggled to see the legal points he is making. It is packed with political statements. Professor Moyo is a litigious individual and he has succeeded in the past. He could well produce a rabbit from the hat but politically he may be finished. His latest action will put pressure on Mugabe by party hawks to deal with him.

Moyo may be pre-emtying his inevitable dismissal from the party and is now taking the fight into the public arena. It is too early to make any conclusions as his actions may have the blessing of the highest office.

Moyos previous legal battles

  • 7 days ago Professor Moyo sued the Sunday Mail for story it carried alleging that he was in a car scandal. Ongoing
  • In March 2016 Professor Moyo sued Hwange colliery for not remitting levies meant for ZIMDEF that he is now accused of abusing.Ongoing
  • In 2005 Professor Moyo sued Dumiso Dabengwa and the late John Nkomo. The action against Dabengwa was dismissed with costs while the action against Nkomo succeeded. Concluded
  • In May 2011, Moyo sued the Daily News for $60,000 for reprinting former articles about his expulsion from Zanu-PF in 2005. Not concluded
  • Moyo tried to force through a recount of the votes but his attempt was blocked when Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha barred the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) from conducting a vote recount in the constituency without an order of such effect from the Electoral Court and finalisation of the application of review. Concluded
  • In 2014 Professor Moyo sued Temba Mliswa for calling him gay. Stalled

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