KENYA – Despite claims to the contrary, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government says it has not given political asylum to former Cabinet minister Jonathan Moyo, who is wanted back home to answer a slew of allegations relating to corruption.
Moyo has been launching brickbats at President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government ever since he fled into self-imposed exile, following the fall of former leader Robert Mugabe in November last year.
Kenyan government spokesperson, Eric Kiraithe, denied claims that Moyo — who was Higher Education minister in Mugabe’s government until two months ago — was in the country as a political refugee.
“I would have known if he was in the country,” Kiraithe told the Nation on Saturday.
“Political asylum is a security issue and his request would have been processed by the NSAC (National Security Advisory Council) and the Cabinet.”
Mugabe was toppled by the military in November last year after he sacked his then vice-president, Mnangagwa — in a move that insiders said at the time was meant to clear the path for the nonagenarian’s wife Grace to succeed him. Mnangagwa was later installed as president.
The whereabouts of a number of powerful former ministers in Mugabe’s government have been the subject of much speculation, with some suggesting that they had in fact been detained by the military.
Moyo is said to have been the brains behind the Generation 40 faction within the ruling Zanu PF party, which was rabidly opposed to Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe.
Ever since Mugabe’s ouster, there has been much speculation that Moyo escaped to Nairobi.
Moyo once worked for an international NGO in Nairobi in the 1990s, where he was later accused of having defrauded it of thousands of dollars.
It is also known that he has family members in Kenya, as his current wife was born there.
The Daily News reported last week that Mnangagwa’s government is putting pressure on Kenyan authorities to rein in Moyo, to cease his repeated attacks on Harare.
However, Mwenda Njoka, the Interior ministry spokesperson, also denied Moyo was in the country.
“I have asked our immigration guys and they said he is not here,” he said.
“I think the Zimbabwean media are doing some fishing to try to find out where he is.”
Edwin Limo, the spokesperson for the Foreign Affairs ministry, also said he was not aware of any requests from the Zimbabwean government to the Kenyan authorities over Moyo.
Moyo is currently under investigation for allegedly siphoning over $400 000 from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef).
In 2001, Moyo was implicated in a corruption scandal involving about $6 million while he was the programme director in Nairobi for the American-based organisation, Ford Foundation.
The money was meant for a Nairobi-based NGO, the Series on Alternative Research in East Africa Trust, which was founded by political scientist Mutahi Ngunyi.
An audit report carried out in 2000 claimed that Moyo used the money for unclear purposes.
A top security source in the country, who declined to be quoted, also claimed that Moyo had fled the country before that case was concluded and, therefore, remained a wanted man in Kenya. — Nation.co.ke/Staff Writer