Student representatives yesterday criticised Jonathan Moyo‘s excuse for diverting Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) funds meant for students to his Tsholotsho North constituency. In a tweet over the weekend Moyo likened himself to Robin Hood.
However, Zimbabwe Congress of Students’ Unions (ZICOSU) president Tonderai Chidawa said Prof Moyo was nowhere near Robin Hood,
The minister is trying to hide behind a finger, unnecessarily dragging in people who were not there when he, to use his own words, was caught with hands in the till. We are saying, if there is anyone who is the poorest member of society, it is the student because most of us cannot raise money needed by colleges and universities. Unlike Robin Hood, Prof Moyo is doing the opposite, stealing from the poor who are students and covering areas where he has vested interests.
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Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) spokesperson Zivai Mhetu said,
By likening himself to Robin Hood, Prof Moyo is giving the impression that Government, where the funds are coming from, is rich. He is trying to portray Government as a fat cat where he is taking public funds to please people in his constituency yet it is common knowledge that Government has been struggling to raise salaries for civil servants. Prof Moyo needs orientation on that one because, as we speak, there are students whose fees are paid by Zimdef but they can’t access their results for last semester because nothing has been paid out. Then, across town, someone is diverting their funds donating freebies in his constituency. We can’t continue having this.
The student representatives also called on Government to let the law take its course. Chidawa said,
The law should not be selective. The Prosecutor General was arrested, detained and went to court. We are surprised some respected figures are springing out in defence of such an act. He is admitting he took the funds and diverted them towards bicycles in his constituency among other things and as the voice of the students, we are against that. Let the law be applied and if he is not guilty, it shall be seen.