SENIOR STAFF WRITER
©️ HEALTH minister Obadiah Moyo is in the dog box after the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) opened a docket to probe his qualifications and controversial coronavirus deals following a complaint by a private citizen, the Daily News reports.
This comes as Zacc and the police have also questioned senior officials at the ministry of Finance, the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Praz) and medical supplies firm NatPharm over the procurement of Covid-19 personal protective equipment (PPEs).
It also comes as it has emerged that President Emmerson Mnangagwa has ordered that a contentious US$60 million PPE deal be cancelled, after Interpol raised the red flag on the credibility of Drax International — one of the firms that supplied materials to the government for the management of the disease.
Yesterday, Zacc confirmed to the Daily News that it had opened an investigation into Moyo after receiving a complaint filed by human rights activist Makomborero Haruzivishe on Thursday.
The probe has been recorded under report number RRB 000359.
“We are going to investigate all the cases brought to and recorded by the commission.
“I would not want to say so and so has brought what case, but I can confirm that investigations are under way.
“We are also investigating cases, including those to do with the procurement of Covid-19 materials after we received reports to that effect,” Zacc commissioner and spokesperson John Makamure said.
“Besides the reports from individuals, this (case) has also been playing out on social media, hence we were obliged to act.
“So, we are indeed talking to ministry of Health officials, the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe, as well as NatPharm,” Makamure further told the Daily News.
Moyo was not answering his phone yesterday when the Daily News tried to talk to him.
In his written complaint, Haruzivishe said besides probing the procurement of Covid-19 equipment, Zacc should also investigate allegations that Moyo was not a trained medical doctor, contrary to his claims.
“I am writing to you requesting an investigation into a case of highly suspected corruption on the medical qualifications of ‘Dr’ Obadiah Moyo, who also happens to be the minister Health and Child Care, and cases of exposed grand corruption surrounding Covid-19 supplied goods, and granting tenders to bogus and briefcase companies.
“I would further like to bring to your attention the unearthing of corruption of earth-shattering proportions in the ministry of Health which is under the stewardship of Moyo, involving Covid-19 tenders.
“At a time when millions across the world, Zimbabwe included, have succumbed to the coronavirus pandemic, Moyo is abusing his ministerial position by awarding highly inflated tenders to shelf companies …,” Haruzivishe further alleged in his complaint sent to Zacc chairperson Loice Matanda-Moyo.
“The shelf companies, Drax International, Jaji Investments and Satewave have since been exposed to be bogus, that they do not have capacity to deliver and … are only avenues of massive corruption for crooks like (name supplied but withheld) who are working hand in glove with Moyo,” Haruzivishe added.
He also questioned why test kits that allegedly cost US$2 each were being sold to the government for US$34 each by Drax International.
“Considering that on the attached invoice 15 000 kits were sold, US$480 000 was looted at one go.
“Another incident is with Jaji Investments which paid six (US) cents per kit and charged the government US$14,75 per kit.
“It was paid US$66 375 for equipment valued at US$300. Moyo is believed to have direct interests in the deals and he even lied that the test kits were from Namibia when they were brought from China,” Haruzivishe alleged further.
This comes as the government has pulled the plug on the US$60 million deal, whose controversy has overshadowed Zimbabwe’s fight against the lethal coronavirus.
The Daily News has been told exclusively that Mnangagwa long ordered the cancellation of the Drax deal, as well as stopping the attendant payments, after police commissioner- general Godwin Matanga briefed him over concerns by Interpol — which had said the company was blacklisted.
“Something else also happened and this is the unsaid story. Godwin Matanga, the police commissioner-general, then brought a security report from Interpol which said this company (Drax International) had been blacklisted by Interpol.
“No one knows that, people are busy focusing on the pricing issue. Cabinet then took a decision that over and above the company’s abuse of pricing they are also on the Interpol blacklist, and thus supply contract must be cancelled.
“As far as we are concerned there is no connection between Drax International and the first family,” Mnangagwa’s spokesperson, George Charamba, told our sister publication Daily News On Sunday yesterday, which will run his explosive interview in its edition tomorrow.
“Secondly, this is not a live issue. The government had long dealt with this issue well before it even hit the headlines.
“What you are looking at is not even smoke, these are the dead embers of a fire that was long put out.
“The instruction to stop and cancel the supply came from the president. It was not even the Cabinet. In fact the matter was raised from the President’s Office,” Charamba said further.
“Remember the President’s Office is not only reliant on information from line ministers, we have our own sources of information.
“There is not a single minister who is privy to the security report, the security report is for the president’s eyes only and that is where the Interpol issue was raised and he (Mnangagwa) took a decision based on that,” he added.
Moyo has come under growing fire from many quarters over his ministry’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
His suitability for the job and his qualifications have also been under the spotlight — resulting in the complaint by Haruzivishe to Zacc, who says that Moyo’s name does not appear on the Medical and Dental Practitioners Council of Zimbabwe register.
“The minister (Moyo) also says he is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, yet a search on the college’s register does not show his name.
“This worries me as a citizen and I wonder if the qualifications he boasts of were obtained fraudulently.
“I also wonder if that could be the reason why he has dismally failed to deal with the health care crisis in the country.
“I, therefore, call on your highly esteemed office to urgently investigate these issues,” Haruzivishe said further in his complaint.
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