FRANCISTOWN: Tati-East Member of Parliament, Samson Guma Moyo has once again put himself under the spotlight following his remarks that he is subject of an assassination plot.
This week Moyo claimed that he had fled to an unnamed country in the region following a ‘tip off’ from intelligence sources that there are people who want to eliminate him. He told Mmegi that he was outside the country, but would not disclose the location.
Many showed little concern about Moyo’s assassination plot. Instead, they trivialised the issue and questioned the integrity of his statements.
Critics added that his assassination plot is motivated by desire to attract public sympathy and favour from the members of the public. Those who rebuffed Moyo’s elimination remarks also questioned the timing of his statements.
Moyo was recently served with a letter to appear for a disciplinary hearing. He is also reported to be subject of an investigation by the Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) on tax related matters, which is why many assumed that he might be gunning for public sympathy.
He has in the past been accused of making less genuine statements in order to earn public sympathy.
In 2015, he made an unexpected announcement that he will quit as Tati East MP before the end of his term. He even met various leaders in his constituency and informed them of his intentions to quit politics before his term comes to an end in October 2019. Moyo’s announcement to quit politics was also widely reported in the media.
He however, never showed any intention to quit politics. He later resurfaced in the media declaring his desire to contest for another term as MP. Many said when he made an announcement to quit, Moyo was playing a psychological game to pre-empt pressure from his constituents and his party colleagues.
That was because his announcement came at a time when his business dealings were subjected to criminal investigations.
It was not the first time he has made threats to resign from politics. In 2008, he threatened to quit active politics after he was dropped from Cabinet before he reneged on his decision. At the time some pundits also averred that he was trying to attract public sympathy.
Moyo is not stranger to claims that there are threats against his person by the feared DIS. Last year it emerged that Moyo and other members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) who have been tasked to review the said National Petroleum Fund (NPF) and report back to Parliament claimed that they were living in fear after being warned that there was a plan within the DIS to either harm or kill them.
One member of that committee, Dithapelo Keorapetse reported the matter to the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and the Commissioner of Police. “In our last sitting in the Parliament Public Accounts Committee Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Minerals Resources was extensively questioned on the transactions related to the National Petroleum Fund. Following that enquiry and in subsequent days particularly on the 5th April 2018 in the late afternoon I received a phone call from Guma Samson Moyo relating to our work in the PAC concerning and relating to the NPF,” Keorapetse said.
He added: “In the cause of our conversation aforesaid Moyo informed me that he had received a tip off from an anonymous member of the DIS that there was a plan within the DIS to either harm me or kill myself and him following what was perceived as our hostile and intense attitude in the questioning and interrogation of the National Petroleum Funds in particular the Permanent Secretary who appeared before us”.
Keorapetse said Moyo informed him that his anonymous source whom he said was a member of the DIS had informed him that they had been particularly so targeted because of their unrelenting interest and extensive questioning which seemed to expose maladministration and short comings within the government bureaucracy in respect of how the NPF was dealt with.
Yesterday, Moyo said in response to those who doubt that there is an assassination plot against him, “I cannot answer public perceptions. They are entitled to their opinion.”
Guma added that he does not owe BURS as claimed by authorities. He also maintained that he is not aware that he is subject of an investigation by the revenue authority.
“For the record I don’t owe BURS. They owe me! Even if I did I have the capacity to pay. It is not a crime to owe but to evade tax,” Guma said yesterday in a written response.
Attorney and political analyst, Anthony Morima is partly convinced that Moyo might be genuine in his claims that there is an assassination plot against him.
“For now I think it is without basis to think that Moyo is not telling the truth about an assassination plot against him without any tangible evidence. I do not think his move is meant to gain public sympathy,” Morima said.
“He has faced more severe legal challenges than tax and political problems. In all those instances he was very cooperative with the law. Looking at the above factors one would wonder why he would lie about an assassination plot to garner public sympathy for tax or political problems. He might be telling the truth.”
“I am not entirely saying that he might not be faking his assassination plot, but I am saying he should be given the benefit of the doubt. We cannot pre-empt without an investigation”.