HARARE – Former Energy Minister Samuel Undenge was beginning a two-and-a-half-year jail sentence on Friday after losing his appeal against a 2018 conviction for corruption.
Undenge has been out of prison on bail pending the outcome of his appeal against conviction and sentence, which has now been thrown out by the High Court.
The former minister, who left government after former President Robert Mugabe was deposed in a military coup in 2017, on Friday appeared before Harare magistrate Trynos Utahwashe who sent him away to begin his sentence.
Undenge was convicted of criminal abuse of office after he was prosecuted for allegedly instructing the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) to hire former Zanu PF legislator Psychology Maziwisa and former ZBC news anchor, Oscar Pambuka, as consultants for which they were paid US$12,659.
Harare magistrate Hosea Mujaya jailed him for four years, but conditionally suspended part of his sentence leaving him to serve an effective two-and-a-half years.
“The police arrested him yesterday (Thursday). They went to his place of residence in numbers while armed, to make it appear as if he has been on the run but my client was never on the run.” Undenge’s lawyer Alec Muchadehama told ZimLive on Friday.
“In fact, when his appeal was thrown out, I told him to stay at home because I knew the police would go after him. He was never a fugitive. We are appealing against the High Court’s ruling at the Supreme Court.”