UPDATED: Undenge caged 4 years

Former Energy and Power Development Minister Samuel Undenge being escorted into prison truck after being sentence to Four and half years in prison in Harare yesterday. Picture by Justin Mutenda

Former Energy and Power Development Minister Samuel Undenge being escorted into prison truck after being sentence to Four and half years in prison in Harare yesterday. Picture by Justin Mutenda

Nokutenda Chiyangwa, Harare Bureau

FORMER Energy and Power Development Minister Samuel Undenge, who was accused of pre-judicing the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) of $12 650, was yesterday sentenced to an effective two-and-a-half years in prison.

Undenge appeared before Harare regional magistrate Mr Hoseah Mujaya facing charges of abuse of office and was convicted after a full trial.

He was sentenced to four years in prison with one-and-a-half years suspended on condition he does not commit a similar crime.

Undenge in 2016 handpicked a public relations company owned by Zanu-PF legislator Psychology Maziwisa and former ZBC news anchor Oscar Pambuka to do work for the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) without going to tender.

While Undenge looked shocked at the sentence, his wife Letina remained calm in the gallery. However, Letina was later seen wailing outside the courtroom.

Undenge’s lawyer Mr Aleck Muchadehama had proposed that he receives a $50 fine or community service.

“Given the background of the matter, the accused could have thought he was doing the right thing. The accused has also already attracted a lot of media publicity which has been stressful for him. Therefore, I propose that a fine of $50 would be suitable for the case or in default of payment 30 days imprisonment,” he said.

Prosecuting, Mr Jonathan Murombedzi argued that the court should jail Undenge as a way of discouraging corruption. He said Undenge was trying to hide behind Pambuka and Maziwisa when he was in fact guilty.

“The accused’s blameworthiness in the circumstances is very high. He was a good steward and he was a minister in a portfolio that involved anti-corruption.

“He knew well that stooping so low in doing business with Oscar Pambuka and Psychology Maziwisa was unlawful. The fact that they went to him after payments from ZPC stopped meant that he knew what was going on,” said Mr Murombedzi.

“A true minister would not have allowed his office to be used as a playground by Oscar and Maziwisa. As for the issue of the message sent to the Zimbabwean public, the way the public views such matters is a way of looking at honour and integrity. Letting people with cases like this go has eroded the confidence of our public in the government system,” he said.

Mr Murombedzi also said once an accused person who has been a Government official is convicted, there is no way they can escape imprisonment.

He further proposed that Undenge be given an effective five years as he had betrayed the trust that the Government of Zimbabwe had placed on him.

The State was represented by Mr Oscar Madhume.

Mr Mujaya ruled that the fact that only a few cases of corruption had been dealt with was demeaning to the justice system and Undenge should have at least apologised to the nation for the way he acted.

Mr Majaya also said community service for Undenge would bring disrepute to the courts.

“The accused is advanced in age and circumstance. He has contributed as a father, a Member of Parliament and diplomat.

“However, evidence has shown that the accused was showing favour to fellow Zanu-PF Member of Parliament Mr Maziwisa and this cannot be dismissed.

“Investors will disappear if we continue to let such matters go (unpunished). Corruption denied the nation of good administration and no statistics are needed to determine the level of corruption in the country,” he said.

“Selective prosecution cannot be considered. Therefore, accused is sentenced to four years in prison. One and a half are suspended on condition that he does not commit the same crime.”

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  • Ndlela Zimhlophe

    Who is going to arrest ED for Gukurahundi, Obert Mpofu for looting Matebeleland dry, the entire Zanu Pf for corruption, ED for breaking forex regulations in Zim etc. This guy has been handpicked because he is G40…the ones under Ngwena are untouchable since they are in the right group. Do not be fooled Zimbos…

    • Brb

      If you won’t.. then nobody will.

      • zibulo

        you think its funny? people’s lives have been messed up by the people you support . writer is saying they must also be arrested and you make it a small thing , yet you have seen what has happened since independence.

        • Kevin

          Why do some people feel they are the only ones entitled to comment , the man has just proffered his opinion , offer yours and thats it , why are you even questioning him ? Assuming he thinks it’s funny , what is it to you ?Get a life !

          • selibona nya bakithi!

            you not getting the point.it’s not about anyone thinking their opinion is better than someone else’s, its using common sense.Are we commenting here just for the sake of it or it’s a platform of progressive ideas?what does @Brb mean about ‘if you won’t …then nobody will??thus typical of zanu people arrogance! yokuthi there is nothing you can do to us !we do as we please.we talking selective application of justice here.for us to take them serious about corruption we need to see all concerned investigated.

        • Masvingo

          My cousin’s grandfather, grandmother and 2 vazukurus were hacked to death by Ndebele dissidents in the very early 80s. And they are not the only people who suffered at the hands of dissidents.

          My point Zibulo is, this is not a one sided issue. Gukurahundi was wrong yes. You do not solve such problems by unleashing terror on a region. But remember, the dissidents are also directly responsible for the suffering of many families to this day, including some Ndebele families as well.

          • Gayigusu

            Am sure they were the only only ones recorded n it does not tally with 20 000. We talking of human beings not toys or sticks

          • zibulo

            i did not mean the Ndebele/Shona thing, i meant the messing up of Zimbabweans’ lives in general, including you and me?How do you come to relate me to tribal issues only even when i did not imply so ? And why does this issue to you seem TRIVIAL ,and that you do not mind being ruled by a mass murderer ,whether he murdered Ndebeles or Shonas, he’s a murderer and you knw what should happen, Arrest/Prosecution, but you argur for the Murderer to RULE and believe he is reformed though he does not accept /admit his well known role ! Remember after Gugurahundi they thought zimbabweans were now completely silenced but up came MNDC,and that was followed by massacres in Harare/Mashona areas by the same people. Once a thief/murderer/always one. you will agree me only when when they come for YOU !!!

      • selibona nya bakithi!

        you are an imbecile and by the look of things a zanu blind supporter you can’t discern even when there is wisdom in a logical analysis. Ndlela Zimhlophe is talking sense wena you see something funny. Mnx you are a simpleton.

    • madikizela

      you are a moron

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  • Ziyabheda

    4years for $12600? And yet there still is the Chivayo $5,000,000 corruption case! My God isn’t this man in real trouble ? I was expecting to hear his Lawyer say they will appeal the sentence…. Or is there no provision for such? Best of luck former minister.

    • benjamin

      No… the law anywhere in the world is an ***hole…. Chivayo may walk scotfree simply because the court processes will fail to prove that he stole, lack of convincing evidence etc,,,, those technicalities..

      Knowing for sure that a person committed a crime is far far far from being enough to get him caged.

      Also there is the money factor. Money buys the best of the best lawyers who can turn red into blue. So you will see thieves of thousands being caged while thieves of millions walk scott free.

      • Asa

        The Chivhayo case may come to haunt this ex minister who has been caged and the executives at ZESA. Psychology and Oscar were not caged though they were reciepted the thousands of green bucks.

    • Samuel Paul Ganyata

      Fool of I know, I am sorry your sympathy is descending on the extinct. By virtue of your bad analysis, onshore is shame.

      Behind bars now, nothing to take back.

      • Ziyabheda

        Fool of I don’t know is what you are .The man, s lawyer has since appealed his client, s sentence as would be expected of a reasonable attorney.and this has nothing to do with your perceived sympathy that you claim I exhibit for the former minister, but just normal expected conduct of a defense lawyer. That should open up your closed mind to the realities of the goings on of legal matters

  • samas

    Undenge the ONLY corrupt politician…..? Those under mnangagwa untouchable including yean umnangagwa.

    • Jotham

      Who said he is the last one to be jailed? Akutshiyane lobaba uMnangagwa!!!

    • Django Django

      you are dump

  • mazicobomoco7

    Be servants of the people or else watch out -warning short

  • Asa

    I would be happy to see those corrupt heads of institutions of higher learning being caged for abusing public funds madoda!

    • Samora

      jonathan is following

  • sankara

    the job has began. no tolerance to corruption

  • SB

    Reading between the lines is clearly a malicious conviction because he was on the ‘wrong side’ of the Zanu factional wars. The evidence he presented in court left no doubt that he was following instructions from the very same ED who is conspicuous by his absence from the dock. The previous ministers were also implicated in various scams and zwii. And of course Wicknell will still get the Gwanda money if the papers are to be believed..