Undenge hit with new fraud charge; ex-minister arrested over Chivayo deal

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By Mary Taruvinga

FORMER energy Minister Samuel Undenge has appeared on court on new fraud charges related to controversial Harare businessman Wicknell Chivayo.

Undenge was recently convicted and sentenced to four years imprisonment by Harare magistrate Hosea Mujaya for a similar offence.

This was after he handpicked a public relations firm owned by broadcaster Oscar Pambuka and ex-Zanu PF legislator Psychology Maziwisa to do work for the Zimbabwe Power Company without going to tender.

Undenge was bailed out of jail pending appeal against the conviction and sentence at the High Court.

In the new fraud case, the former minister appeared before Harare magistrate Learnmore Mapiye facing criminal abuse of office last weekend.

He was released on $1,000 bail and is expected back in court next Monday when he will be joined with his co-accused Chivayo.

According to the State, Undenge ordered ZPC to give Chivayo $5 million for the Gwanda Solar project’s pre-commencement work, despite the businessman allegedly not providing a performance guarantee as required by law.

Chivayo, who is being charged with money laundering, contravening the Exchange Control Act and fraud, reportedly converted the money to personal use and did not carry out any meaningful project on the site.

It is alleged that tycoon transferred the funds to his other businesses which had nothing to do with the project he was contracted to carry out.

ZPC is the complainant in the case.

Veneranda Munyoro prosecuted.