Fraud case: Ex-minister fingers Zim President Mnangagwa

President Emmerson Mnangagwa (Gian Ehrenzeller, Keystone via AP)
President Emmerson Mnangagwa (Gian Ehrenzeller, Keystone via AP)

A former Zimbabwean minister accused of criminal abuse of office has reportedly said that he received instruction from President Emmerson Mnangagwa's office, while he was still vice president, in awarding a communications company a tender without following due process.

According to New Zimbabwe.com, former energy minister Samuel Undenge stood accused of fraud after he awarded a Zanu-PF legislator Psychology Maziwisa and former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) news anchor Oscar Pambuka a contract without going to tender.

But, the former energy minister denied the charges, saying he acted on the instruction of the vice president when he awarded Fruitful Communications the tender, and complied with the directive because the "Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) public relations department was not performing well".

"My client was misled by the owners of Fruitful Communications who told him that the company had been authorised by the President, when he was still the Vice President to work with ZPC. They said they had been instructed to do ZIMASSET projects for all parastatals," Undenge's lawyer Alex Muchadehama was quoted as saying.

Contractual obligations

Muchadehama said his client only added his signature to a letter that had been written by the two co-owners of Fruitful Communications.

According to NewsDay, ZPC public relations executive, Fadzai Chisveto - a witness in the case – said she could not deny nor confirm the role the minister played in authorising the two to work for ZPC.

Chisveto said Undenge's letter was meant to formalise the deal.

She said that Fruitful Communications fulfilled its contractual obligations, but inflated the charges.

"The work was done properly, but we were cheated. We paid for a conference, which the two were involved, for $5 000. But we were surprised when they brought an invoice of $12 650, which we paid," Chisveto was quoted as saying.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Would you choose to continue working from home after the coronavirus lockdown if given the option?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, it's much better for me
40% - 6641 votes
No ways! I can't wait to get back to the office
12% - 1950 votes
A mixture of both would suit me best
48% - 7982 votes
Vote
USD/ZAR
14.61
(0.0)
GBP/ZAR
20.02
(0.0)
EUR/ZAR
17.37
(0.0)
AUD/ZAR
11.13
(0.0)
JPY/ZAR
0.13
(0.0)
Gold
1,743.98
(0.0)
Silver
25.25
(0.0)
Platinum
1,204.50
(0.0)
Brent Crude
62.95
(-0.4)
Palladium
2,641.93
(0.0)
All Share
67,191
(+0.2)
Top 40
61,459
(+0.3)
Financial 15
12,123
(+0.8)
Industrial 25
87,544
(+0.1)
Resource 10
68,608
(+0.2)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo