Questions on minister’s fate  

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Mugove Tafirenyika
SENIOR STAFF WRITER
tafirenyikam@dailynews.co.zw

MYSTERY surrounds the fate of graft-accused Health minister Obadiah Moyo, pictured, who was recently arrested in connection with the supply of US$60 million coronavirus materials.

This comes as the Daily News has confirmed with well-placed sources that Moyo, 66, has not been attending Cabinet since his arrest two weeks ago.
It also comes as President Emmerson Mnangagwa — who has appointed Higher and Tertiary Education minister Amon Murwira as the acting Health and Child Care minister — is under pressure to deal decisively with Moyo’s case.
Efforts to get a comment from both Mnangagwa’s office and from Moyo himself on the issue have drawn a blank over the past week.
Interestingly, when former Tourism minister Prisca Mupfumira was arrested last year over a slew of graft allegations which the State said happened during her time as Labour minister, she was cut loose before her trial had started.
At the time, respected University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer Eldred Masunungure had also advised Mupfumira to step down on her own volition, pending the finalisation of her case, to make life easier for her boss.
“The best practice is that, whilst the legal route is going on, the minister (Mupfumira) must step down to allow due process to take its course.
“In other democratic countries, she should have resigned already as it’s improper for her to continue. She is already contaminated and needs to step aside.
“The position she holds is very powerful and chances are that she can deploy that power to defeat the course of justice. Her conscience must be her master … to pave the way for investigations to flow,” Masunungure told the Daily News then.
Mupfumira was the first Cabinet minister to be arrested on corruption charges under Mnangagwa’s administration since the late former president Robert Mugabe was deposed from power in 2017 through a popular military coup.
Moyo’s arrest followed that of businessman Delish Nguwaya — who is the local representative of the foreign company, Drax International, which was allegedly awarded the contested deal irregularly.

 

He will be back in court on July 31.
As part of his bail conditions, Moyo was ordered to report thrice a week to the police, surrender his passport and not to interfere with State witnesses.
A number of officials from the government medical supplies firm, NatPharm — among them Nancy Flora Sifeku ,67, operations manager Charles Mwaramba ,78, and finance manager Rolland Mlalazi ,55, — have also been arrested in connection with the US$60 million deal.

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