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.
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 by ZANU PF 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.
Speaking separately to state media, 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.