By Staff Reporter
FORMER Energy Minister Samuel Undenge (pictured) was Friday sentenced to four years imprisonment after he was convicted of abuse of office charges linking him to his undue authorisation of a $12 650 payment to Fruitlink Communications belonging to a Zanu PF legislator and a journalist.
He will serve a full two and a half years behind bars after 1 and half years were suspended on condition of good behaviour.
Undenge was being accused of granting Zanu PF MP Psychology Maziwisa and ZBC journalist Oscar Pambuka a contract to perform some public relations work for the state-owned Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) without going to tender.
He is among some top Zanu PF bigwigs who fell by the wayside when Robert Mugabe was ousted as President last year.
During trial, Undenge denied the allegations telling court he was only being targeted for belonging to the infamous G40, a faction that was once fiercely opposed to then Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s elevation to become Mugabe’s successor.
Its members have since been elbowed out of Zanu PF with some now in exile.
Undenge is the first top government and Zanu PF official to be jailed of a corruption offence since Mugabe’s fall.
Incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa is under fire for failure to deal with top officials who have been linked to massive corruption that has haemorrhaged the country of billions of dollars during Mugabe’s era.