FRAUD: Ex-minister to appear in court together with Chivayo

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By Mary Taruvinga

THE case in which former energy minister Samuel Undenge is accused of corruptly facilitating the payment of $5 million to controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo was on Monday deferred to a later date.

Undenge is expected to be back in court on September 14 when he will be joined with the Chivayo.

The Harare tenderpreneur is being charged with money laundering, contravening the Exchange Control Act and fraud after he allegedly squandered the $5 million.

The funds were meant for pre-commencement work on energy utility Zimbabwe Power Company’s (ZPC) $200 million Gwanda Solar project.

Wicknell Chivayo

Undenge is said to have ordered ZPC to release the $5m to Chivayo without the latter providing a performance guarantee as required by law.

Prosecutors say the businessman converted the money to personal use and did not carry out any meaningful work at the project site.

It is alleged that Chivayo transferred the funds to his other businesses which had nothing to do with the solar project.

ZPC is the complainant in the case.

Undenge was convicted and sentenced to four years in prison over separate corruption charges involving broadcaster Oscar Pambuka and former Zanu PF legislator Psychology Maziwisa.

The former minister was accused of handpicking a public relations firm owned by the two to carry out public relations work for ZPC without going to tender.

Undenge successfully appealed against both the conviction and sentence at the High court and is currently out of custody on $1,000 bail with stringent conditions.