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Undenge mounts fresh freedom bid

By Tendai Rupapa

Jailed former Energy and Power Development Minister Samuel Undenge has offered to pay $10 000 and surrender title deeds of his Tynwald South property in exchange for his freedom pending the determination of his appeal at the Supreme Court against the High Court’s decision that upheld his incarceration.

Zimbabwe former Minister of Energy and Power Development Samuel Undenge is the first minister from Robert Mugabe's administration to be jailed for graft
Zimbabwe former Minister of Energy and Power Development Samuel Undenge was the first minister from Robert Mugabe’s administration to be jailed for graft

Undenge was convicted of criminal abuse of office and jailed for two-and-a half-years.

In a bid to allay State fears that he was likely to abscond, Undenge seeks to argue that all borders are sealed due to Covid-19 pandemic, hence there is no basis for the prosecution to bring that averment.

In his bail application filed at the High Court by his lawyer Mr Alec Muchadehama, Undenge argues that his prospects of success on appeal are high.

Undenge was last week committed to prison after his appeal against both conviction and his two-and-a-half year imprisonment was dismissed by the High Court recently.

The former minister had been convicted in the Magistrates Court for abuse of office after he hand-picked a public relations company for the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) without going to tender.

He was slapped with four years’ imprisonment, but 18 months were suspended on condition of good behaviour.

He has since approached the High Court seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court against the decision to incarcerate him.

In seeking bail as surety, Undenge wants his Tynwald South property to remain part of his bail. Undenge stated that he is not a flight risk.

“Since his arrest the applicant was on bail pending appeal. After his conviction on July 20, 2018 the applicant was imprisoned. He successfully applied for bail pending trial at the High Court.

“This bail was granted on August 1, 2018. Applicant has been on bail ever since and is determined to clear himself of the conviction and has no reason to abscond the jurisdiction of this court. His passport was surrendered to the clerk ofcourt. Also there is the Covid-19 induced lockdown all he can not travel to foreign countries.

“Applicant submits that there are bright prospects of success. Bail is an entitlement as of right. He must not be unreasonably denied bail especially in light of the many misdirections that do exist in the court-a-quo’s judgement,” he said.

Undenge also seeks to argue that to uphold his conviction in the circumstances as the court did was a serious travesty of justice.

“The letter that the applicant signed was motivated by Psychology Mazivisa, Oscar Pambuka and Fruitful Communications who were committing fraud.

“The appeal court acknowledged this fact. This therefore completely destroyed the applicant’s guilty state of mind as he was himself being conned and was a victim of crime,” read the application.

The fresh application is yet to be heard at the High Court. The Herald

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