Professor Jonathan Moyo, who was the Minister of Information and Publicity in 2004, and was alleged to be part of the Tsholotsho gang, has surprising said that the introduction of the Reconstruction Act was instigated by President Mnangagwa, who he how calls a bush lawyer notwithstanding the fact that at the time he would have killed to have him assume the position of Vice President and successor to former President Mugabe.
With respect to the Reconstruction Act, Professor Moyo has described it as diabolic in response to a question on Twitter by @mimmitwit – what are your thoughts on The Reconstruction of State Indebted Companies Act of 2004?
Prof Jonathan Moyo said ” I think it was a diabolic & spiteful piece of legislation conceived by Patrick Chinamasa at Mnangagwa’s instigation to target at Mutumwa Mawere. Of all the lawyers I worked with in govt & ZanuPF, I found Mnangagwa a bush lawyer and Chinamasa a Rhodesian lawyer with no sense of justice”.
It is the first time that Prof Jonathan Moyo has commented on this Act. In an affidavit dated 15 January 2017, the Attorney General stated that:
Pursuant to the operation of the Reconstruction decree promulgated by former President Mugabe, Professor Moyo was appointed to a cabinet committee on SMM in 2004.
Mr. Tapiwa Chitambo, Secretary General of the Friends of SMM said: “It is strange that Prof. Moyo who served in this committee never raised any objection to the existence and operation of this law that he now describes as diabolical and spiteful. It follows that if he was an enthusiastic enforcer of this law, he cannot escape the accusations that he was also part of this conspiracy. Perhaps the only difference is that he is no longer a part of the government.”
Mr. Stanley Dube, the Station Manager of the www.the1873fm.com radio, said: “I doubt that Prof Moyo was not aware of the constitutional implications of the extrajudicial reconstruction of SMM at the material time. The only logical conclusion is that he had constructive knowledge of this corporate coup. It is people like Prof Moyo whose hypocrisy and opportunism pose a great risk to constitutionalism and rule of law in Zimbabwe. However, if in hindsight he see the folly of his involvement in the SMM matter, he must come clean and let us know who were the kingpins of this company heist. It would be great if we can get Prof Moyo on air to give his own personal account on this matter.”
SMM was a privately owned company whose sole shareholder was domiciled in the UK.
The same Prof Moyo once made uncharacteristic and outrageous comments like: “In any event, if there is anybody who really believes that Mawere ever had on his own the wherewithal to lawfully acquire the so-called SMM empire, then that person needs to have their head examined by a competent psychiatrist”.
Mr David Coltart, the former Minister of Education in the Government of National Unity (GNU), hosts on his website hosts an article penned by Prof Moyo entitled: Mutumwa Mawere is a paranoid attention seeker in which Professor Moyo stated as follows:
“It is true that I was a member of the cabinet committee that was setup to look into the welfare of workers at SMM sometime in 2004. The reason I was a member of that committee is simply that, throughout my tenure as minister and because information was then seen as a crosscutting portfolio and because the department I headed was directly under the Office of the President and Cabinet, I used to sit in every cabinet committee. This ensured that my public statements were always correct in terms of articulating the position of the government on any issue. Therefore my being a member of any cabinet committee did not mean anything special or make me a key member as claimed by Mawere.”
It is significant that Prof Moyo until the tweet referred to above was of the view that SMM under Mr. Mawere was causing political political problems for the government and his view was that the Reconstruction Act was not diabolical and spiteful at all as set out below:
“By the time a cabinet committee was set up to look into SMM welfare issues, something which was necessary because the workers were going unpaid and thus suffering causing political problems for the government, the legal process regarding the alleged expropriation of the alleged assets had long started. That legal process, which involved the courts, was handled through the offices of the Attorney General and the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and not by any cabinet committee. I believe this is still the case and I have never had, nor will I ever have, anything to do with what goes on in the office of the Attorney General or Ministry of Justice over Mawere’s alleged assets.”