Zimbabwe’s former Energy Minister Samuel Undenge has been convicted on abuse of office charges. This becomes the first conviction of a government Minister in the post Mugabe era. Udenge who was arrested along with former Minister of Tourism Walter Mzembi in January 2018.
He was facing charges of prejuidicng Zimbabwe Power company of over USD$12 650 through a payment to Fruitlink Communications run by Highfields MP Psychology Maziwisa and Oscar Pambuka. The crime could see former Minister Undenge facing upto 7 years behind bars.
The conviction comes 10 days before the historic 2018 elections. The timing of this conviction however could raise a lot of eyebrows. Mnangagwa is facing growing public and international pressure to fulfil his promise to weed out corruption in government . On July 13 President Mnangagwa suspended the Prosecutor General Ray Goba, a move that may have shaken things up in Zimbabwes Justice system
Undenge could just be the first in a series of high profile convictions. Former Minister of Finance Ignatius Chombo is another Mugabe ally also on trial facing various allegations of corruption, fraud and criminal nuisance.