Obadiah Moyo has finally been fired as Zimbabwe’s Minister of Health and Child Care. President Emmerson Mnangagwa fired the embattled former radio DJ for “conduct inappropriate for a Government minister” after he was implicated in a coronavirus equipment procurement scandal which has since been termed Covidgate. The dismissal of DJ Biscuit, Moyo’s stage name during his days as a DJ, was confirmed by the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services.
Moyo was arrested last month and charged with 3 counts of criminal abuse of office. However, he was released from police detention and allowed to sleep at his home. When he appeared in court the next day, the state alleged that Moyo had awarded a tender to a company linked to a terrorist group.
Surprisingly, however, the National Prosecution Authority did not oppose bail despite the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission (ZACC)’s recommendation that they do so.
Moyo was released on ZWL$50 000 bail and the matter was remanded to 31 July 2020 for trial. The Minister’s aides made a spectacle at the courts yesterday when they attempted to pay the ZWL$50 000 bail in cash. The money was in huge boxes which the Minister’s aides were struggling to carry.
After his appointment as Health Minister in 2018, Moyo was exposed by different publications to have fabricated his education qualifications. The exposes revealed that he called himself a medical doctor yet he had not received any medical qualifications. The scandal around the qualifications eventually died down after no action was taken.
Below is the communique from the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda announcing that Obadiah Moyo has been fired as Health Minister. iHarare is publishing the statement in its entirety here.
PRESS STATEMENT BY THE CHIEF SECRETARY TO THE PRESIDENT AND CABINET: DR M J M SIBANDA ON THE REMOVAL FROM OFFICE OF CABINET MINISTER, OBEDIAH MOYO
Please be advised that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde E D Mnangagwa, has in terms of section 340. subsection (1), paragraph (f), as read with section 104, subsection (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe has removed Dr Obediah Moyo from the office of Cabinet Minister with immediate effect for conduct inappropriate for a Government Minister.
Dr Misheck J M Sibanda
CHIEF SECRETARY TO THE PRESIDENT AND CABINET
07 July 2020