Zimbabwe: Former Mugabe Minister Convicted of Corruption
An ex minister in former president Robert Mugabe’s government was convicted of corruption and sentenced to four years in prison on Friday, Reuters reported.
This is the first conviction of a former member of Mugabe’s government since a military coup forced his resignation in 2017.
Samuel Undenge, who served as energy minister in Mugabe’s cabinet, was found guilty of issuing a US$12,650 contract from the Zimbabwe Power Company to an entity called Fruitful Communications without following the proper tender process, NewsDay Zimbabwe reported.
The court handed down a sentence of four years with a conditional suspension of 18 months, meaning Undenge will only serve two-and-a-half years in prison.
Undenge’s lawyer says they will be appealing the decision.
Several other former Mugabe ministers are facing corruption charges. Former foreign minister, Walter Mzembi, faces abuse of office charges that constitute a criminal offense and the former minister of finance, Ignatius Chombo, is being investigated for allegedly attempting to defraud Zimbabwe’s central bank over ten years ago. Both deny the charges.
Robert Mugabe resigned following a military coup in late 2017 after thirty-seven years of rule. His former vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, took power shortly after and vowed to end corruption and improve the economy.
The court’s decision comes at a busy time in Zimbabwe, with parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for July 30th.