Undenge acquitted as State fails to prove its case

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Former Robert Mugabe’s Energy and Power Development Minister Samuel Undenge has been acquitted of the criminal of abuse of office charges he was facing in relation to the Gwanda Solar Power Project deal awarded to Intratek.

Harare magistrate Barbra Chimbodza blasted the State for failing to prove its case and bringing forward incredible State witnesses who were out for blood with the sole intention of incriminating Undenge without any evidence to support their claims.

Undenge was found not guilty of the charges of criminal abuse of office.

The State failed to prove its case that Undenge interfered with the tender process and directed ZPC accounting Officer Noah Gwariro to award tender to Chivayo and his company on the basis of a misrepresention that he had the capacity to implement the project.

Chivayo reportedly won the tender at $172 848 597.

The court dismissed the assertion that on October 23, 2015 ZPC acted on the misrepresentation and signed a contract with Chivayo for implementation of the project with Undenge playing a hand in it.

Undenge was being represented by Alex Muchadehama.

Undenge is left with only one case now before the courts, which is a matter in which he is on a $1 000 bail pending appeal. He is challenging the four-year jail term he was slapped with for corruption regarding the power utility company to work with Fruitful Communications led by Psychology Maziwisa and Oscar Pambuka who were also convicted last week.

In another court, the trial of the Harare businessman and socialite, Wicknell Chivayo in relation to Undenge has been postponed to December 12 for trial continuation.

Chivayo is facing allegations of defrauding the Zimbabwe Power Company of over $5 million. He appeared before Harare provincial magistrate Mr Elisha Singano who remanded the matter to December 12.

His defence lawyer Advocate Lewis Uriri who is under instructions from Wilson Manase was not around for trial hence the postponement.

The State indicates the charges arose after Chivayo’s company, Intratek Zimbabwe, was corruptly awarded the Gwanda solar power plant tender by ZPC at the instigation of the then Minister of Energy and Power Development Samuel Undenge who was acquitted today of all charges linked to this offense.

It is alleged Chivayo failed to deliver on the project despite getting $5 607 814,24 from Government.