The appointment of Obadiah Moyo, who it has since emerged, is a very close relative to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, as Health and Child Care minister in September 2018 has really never been endorsed by the public.
Indeed, when he was appointed, on one hand, there were lots of people who wanted to see a change of leadership at the ministry.
Key among their issues were the need to find holistic solutions to the perennial human resources conflicts in the Health ministry.
Most medical practitioners were also getting impatient with the persistent underfunding of the health care system and the duplicity of medical aid companies as both insurers and service providers. Transparency and governance scandals, including the Psmas saga where the former Health minister David Parirenyatwa was allegedly “capitated” had tainted the previous leadership.
With these challenges in hindsight, Moyo’s appointment evaded intense scrutiny as most people desperately wanted change.
However, the new minister’s honeymoon was to be shortlived as both medical practitioners and investigative journalists questioned his academic credentials.
Although the constitution of Zimbabwe does not require anyone to be a medical doctor in order to be appointed Health minister, many found it problematic for Moyo to claim qualifications, which are in serious doubt.
This appointment will remain controversial as to date the minister has not provided any credible information to back up his purpoted academic qualifications.
The president had to later appoint renowned physician John Mangwiro to deputise the minister in attempts to pacify those that raised questions around Moyo’s qualifications.
Nonetheless, Mangwiro has remained mainly in the shadows as he has stayed for long periods of time outside Zimbabwe as he accompanied Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, who was hospitalised in China for a time.
On Saturday, Moyo, was charged with criminal abuse of duty as a public officer, accused of illegally awarding a multi-million-dollar contract for COVID-19 medical supplies to a shadowy company that sold the government $28 face masks and other materials at inflated prices.
Below is a summary of how Obadiah Moyo may never be imprisoned for fraud involving USD60million, as ZimEye is told:
If you thought Obadiah Moyo will ever be tried, you are mistaken. It will never happen. Obadiah-Moyo is Emmerson Mnangagwa’s cousin, a term called “uncle” or sekuru, in the Shona vernacular.
He is son to Mnangagwa’s mother’s brother.
When the police arrested him on Friday, while he was signing a warned and cautioned statement, they decided to release him on Mnangagwa’s orders. The head of the Central Intelligence Organisation, Isaac Moyo is another of his relatives who worked together with Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi. They together went to Mnangagwa and organised that everything be staged so that he (Obadiah Moyo) is served so to subdue growing public angers over the Draxgate scandal. The plan was that Obadiah Moyo would sleep inside the police cells, and then bail be granted (and even that was cut short – he left Rhodesville Police station soon after arrival.)
The CIO Director General and Ziyambi then went to get Obadiah Moyo’s own muzukuru, cousin, Munamato Mutevedzi who is the acting Chief Magistrate. Mutevedzi was invited to come and sit on the same case and the case had the prosecutor saying that bail is not opposed.
He was charged a bail of USD50,000, which is just USD380. a small amount over a case involving USD60 million.
He had to take a fall to save Mnangagwa’s son.l, Collins, so he is actually a hero, in Mnangagwa’s eyes.