FORMER Government and ZANU PF officials who fled the country while facing criminal charges are set to be extradited to face justice back home, Government has resolved.
Addressing the ZANU PF Midlands Provincial Co-ordinating Committee meeting at the Convention Centre in Gweru yesterday, President Mnangagwa said the former officials, who are wanted for various criminal offences, were fomenting relentless attacks on the country’s image.
The Head of State said Government was aware of the fugitives’ whereabouts and their attempts to destabilise the country.
Ex-Cabinet ministers Saviour Kasukuwere and Walter Mzembi fled the country while on bail for various criminal offences, including abuse of office and corruption.
They have been identified as the brains behind strategies to tarnish the country’s image through a coordinated smear campaign.
“So, these G40 elements peddling falsehoods and fictitious narratives about Zimbabwe, we know where they are, but we had remained silent and reluctant,” said the President.
“But now we have an extradition treaty between Zimbabwe and South Africa. I am now going to give instructions to invoke this treaty so that we can extradite these elements to face the law.
“This is not an exception in Zimbabwe, even in America they do so, they evoke this treaty if they have a fugitive citizen they want. In Zimbabwe we have been reluctant but now we want them to come and face the law.”
The President said the G40 fugitives had turned to social media to peddle falsehoods while painting a fictitious image of the country.
They had connived with the country’s adversaries who are also infiltrating the country using non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that have strayed from their mandate to pursue political agendas.
“We also have local NGOs. I want to make it clear that each NGO in this country, when they get registered they do so on the basis of agreed areas of participation. They are given a mandate for a particular area or activity. Those that are going to be found acting or working outside their mandate as NGOs, we shall call them to account,” he said.
Speaking separately to The Sunday Mail yesterday, Prosecutor General Mr Kumbirai Hodzi said some G40 elements were fugitives from justice.
“These three (Jonathan Moyo, Kasukuwere and Mzembi) are all fugitives from justice. In the case of Kasukuwere and Mzembi, they both had cases before the courts but they fled before their trials were completed,” said Mr Hodzi.
“Kasukuwere indicated that he was terminally ill and was unable to attend court due to his health condition, but all evidence indicates that this was a false representation to the courts.
“Professor Moyo also has a case to answer relating to fraud and criminal abuse of office during his time as Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education.”
The National Prosecution Authority has started processes to extradite some of the G40 fugitives premised on the Extradition (Designated Countries) Order of 1990 which designated South Africa as one of the nations to which Government can seek legal mutual assistance in extradition cases.
Using this provision, Zimbabwe has asked South Africa to extradite former Cabinet Minister Mzembi who skipped bail while on remand on charges of criminal abuse of duty and theft of trust funds involving US$847 000.
Mzembi, who allegedly committed the offences when he was Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry and was spearheading Zimbabwe’s co-hosting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) conference in August 2013, is believed to be staying in South Africa since he skipped bail two years ago.
President Mnangagwa said the country will remain resilient and peaceful in the face of the brazen attacks by detractors.
He also castigated citizens who were being paid by foreign embassies to stage violent demonstrations and faking abductions
“Despite the Second Republic experiencing hostile propaganda from our detractors both inside and outside the country, we will not relent to implement the revolutionary path because it is good for our country,” said the President.
“The revolutionary principles have given us this independence. It is that revolutionary party that has created the democracy that is being abused today. The July 31st planned demonstrations flopped and some political activists like (Hopewell) Chin’ono, (Jacob) Ngarivhume had an agenda to have violent demonstrations.
“We know, we had elections, we had them on the same day, 31 July 2018, so it was our anniversary and we won resoundingly. The elections according to the laws, they are supposed to be announced within five days but on August 1 they went into the streets violently and burnt buses and cars.”
President Mnangagwa said Government would not tolerate lawlessness in the country and allow people to disturb the prevailing peace.
“There is no Government that can fold hands and allow people destroying people’s properties, we saw it in America recently, there were demonstrations and soldiers were called in to restore order following violent demonstrations,” he said.
“We need law and order. We will make sure that our country remains peaceful and our people live in peace and do their work in peace. People should be allowed to enjoy democracy, and law and order.
“Those who are bent on creating chaos in the country be warned that the law will take its course. It doesn’t matter whether every day you receive money from embassies and breach our laws, our laws will apply. That will not change.”
President Mnangagwa said the country’s adversaries working in cahoots with other political activists had continued to fake abductions to give a false impression that there was chaos in Zimbabwe.
“We have people faking abductions. When the facts come out, we hear a different story altogether. We have this doctor, Magombeyi, claiming to have been abducted but after four or five days we see him in smart outfits, well shaven hair and mobile phones fully charged but they tell us he had been abducted when he was in a certain embassy, enjoying coffee,” said the President.
He said the Government would remain resolute, working for the people.