Minister faces fraud allegations

March 2, 2001

Zimbabwe information minister Jonathan Moyo is being sued in Kenya for allegedly embezzling £51,600 from a Ford Foundation-funded project on alternative research in East Africa during the 1990s.

The Kenyan law firm A. H. Malik and Sons said Professor Moyo had been served with papers, but that service had not been completed on six other defendants, one of them a foundation employee.

Professor Moyo -a political scientist who joined the Mugabe government last year -switched from being a critic of president Robert Mugabe into his chief propagandist and is a major player in Zimbabwe's crackdown on journalists, the judiciary and opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

He has also launched attacks on the independent media, judges and white farmers, thousands of whose farms have been invaded by "war veterans" in a violent government-sponsored land reform programme.

Professor Moyo is being pursued by the University of the Wi****ersrand, where he worked in the political studies department from 1998 on a SIDA-funded research project Generations: The Making of a New Africa that he abandoned to join the government.

Department head Tom Lodge said: "Wits is trying to recover between R300,000 and R600,000 (£,000-£53,000) of salary paid to Professor Moyo, which represents overdrawn expenses on a research account."

The Ford Foundation suit has been filed in Kenya's high court. It accuses Professor Moyo, who was a programme officer with the foundation from 1993 to 1997, of breach of employment, "obtaining secret commission unlawfully" and wrongfully receiving funds from a foundation grantee, the Series on Alternative Research in East Africa Trust.

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