By Staff Reporter/Agencies
THE National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has written to the Kenyan government seeking assistance in the extradition of former Cabinet minister and Zanu PF Politburo member, Jonathan Moyo from the east African country to Zimbabwe to face trial for corruption.
Moyo is facing 14 charges of fraud, criminal abuse of office, and money laundering charges with the State accusing him of misappropriating US$244 575 from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (ZIMDEF).
He is jointly charged with four others — Godfrey Gandawa, a former higher education minister, Fredrick Mandizvidza, Shepherd Honzeri, former personal assistant to Moyo, and Nicholas Mapute.
Gandawa is also holed in South Africa.
He is believed to be living in self-exile in Kenya after he fled Zimbabwe in November after a military assisted coup that removed the now late President Robert Mugabe from office.
Mugabe died in September last year.
However, in exile, Moyo has turned into a rabid critic of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration accusing the Zimbabwe leader of rigging the 2018 presidential election and presiding over corruption.
However, chief Law officer Chris Mutangadura with the NPA has processed the extradition papers based on a sworn affidavit by acting deputy Prosecutor General Nelson Mutsonziwa.
According to the papers, Prosecutor General Kumbirai Hodzi has since prepared indictment papers for the trial of Moyo and his accomplices in the High Court.
“The matter requires urgent attention as the accused have a constitutional right to be prosecuted within a reasonable time whilst State witnesses who are available ought to testify before any supervening events curtail their adduction of evidence,” said the formal request.
“I, therefore, humbly request the competent authorities of the Republic of Kenya to treat this matter as urgent and give it priority that the authorities’ circumstances permit,” reads Mutangadura’s request.
He said the extradition was not being pursued for political reasons.
“The accused will not be prosecuted for any offence other than fraud, based only upon the facts stated in this request. This request is not being pursued for political reasons or any ulterior purpose. The Republic of Zimbabwe also undertakes to render assistance to the Republic of Kenya in any criminal matter,” read the letter.
Zimbabwe does not have an extradition agreement with Kenya.
In 2017, Moyo then still higher education minister was arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) officers. However, he applied to the Constitutional Court, arguing his rights had been violated as ZACC.
The ConCourt ruled Moyo deserved no preferential treatment and he should follow the normal criminal procedure of arrest and appear before a magistrate.
However, a coup immediately followed and he fled the country.
A number of Moyo’s colleagues who formed part of the G40 faction in Zanu PF have skipped the country after the State pursued them seeking to lay criminal charges against them.
They include; former local government minister and Zanu PF national commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, former youth minister, Patrick Zhuwao, former Manicaland province minister Mandi Chimene, Gandawa, and former tourism minister, Walter Mzembi.
Zhuwao is a nephew to the late former President Mugabe and is in South Africa with Kasukuwere, Gandawa, and Mzembi. Chimene is believed to be in Mozambique.