The mystery surrounding the whereabouts of Jonathan Moyo deepened Sunday after a Kenyan newspaper quoted officials saying he was not in the East African country with him tweeting later to say he was on Twitter and not in Nairobi as reported.
Reports have claimed Moyo is holed up in Kenya, his wife’s country of birth, after ‘escaping death by a whisker’ as the military closed in on him in November.
The former Higher Education minister and alleged G40 kingpin fled in the wake of the November coup that forced former President Robert Mugabe to resign under duress.
To add to the intrigue, Moyo, Sunday, used his Twitter account to claim he was not in Nairobi.
The Nation newspaper Saturday, quoted government spokesman, Eric Kiraithe, saying:
“I would have known if he was in the country. Political asylum is a security issue and his request would have been processed by the NSAC (National Security Advisory Council) and the Cabinet.”
The whereabouts of a number of former powerful but unpopular ministers in Mugabe’s administration have been the subject of much speculation, with some suggesting that they had been detained by the military.
However, ever since Mugabe’s ouster, there has been speculation in the Zimbabwean media that Moyo escaped to Nairobi together with one of the deposed leader’s close allies Saviour Kasukuwere.
But Moyo, Sunday, tweeted: “I’m on Twitter; not in Kenya. It’s an open secret that Zanu PF putschists who are insecure in their military coup imagine I’m in Kenya or want me to be in Kenya so they can send their murderous SAS snipers there, after their attempt to assassinate me in Harare on November 15”.
Moyo once worked for an international NGO in Nairobi in the 1990s which he was accused of defrauding of thousands of dollars.
Zimbabwean media report that he has family members in the city as well.
Moyo has been using social media to attack Mnangagwa’s administration amid reports government had requested Kenya to rat out Moyo.
The Nation newspaper also claimed Mwenda Njoka, the Interior ministry spokesman, denied Moyo was in that country. “I have asked our immigration guys and they said he is not here.
“I think the Zimbabwean media are doing some fishing to try to find out where he is,” he reportedly said.
Edwin Limo, Kenya’s Foreign affairs ministry spokesman also said he was not aware of such a request from the Zimbabwean government to the Kenyan authorities over Moyo.
Moyo is currently under investigation for allegedly siphoning over $400, 000 (Sh41.3 million) from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef).
In 2001, Moyo was implicated in a corruption scandal involving about $6 million (Sh619.9 million) while he was the programme director in Nairobi for the American-based charity organisation, Ford Foundation.
The money was meant for a Nairobi-based NGO, the Series on Alternative Research in East Africa Trust, which was founded by political scientist Mutahi Ngunyi. An audit report carried out in 2000 revealed that Moyo used the money for unclear purposes.
– New Zimbabwe