Undenge's $5m graft trial further deferred

HARARE - The State’s star witness billed to testify in former Energy minister Samuel Undenge’s $5 million corruption trial is indisposed and could not attend trial yesterday.

Noah Gwariro — who was also the chief witness when Undenge was convicted and jailed for fraud charges involving illegal awarding of a public relations consultancy tender that cost Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) $12 650 — is still recovering from injuries sustained in a mysterious car accident.

Undenge’s trial has been regularly postponed because Gwariro has had difficulties appearing for proceedings because he is wheelchair-bound following the freak road accident that happened just before the commencement of the ex-minister’s trial.

When Undenge appeared before Harare magistrate Esthere Chivasa yesterday, the case was deferred to November 5 and 6 for trial.

The State is alleging that Undenge, without following requisite procedures, awarded a tender for ZPC’s Gwanda project to jet-setting businessman Wicknell Chivayo.

Undenge was two months ago jailed for two-and-half years over criminal abuse of office relating to a $12 650 tender that was illegally awarded to Fruitful
Communications by ZPC and is currently out on bail pending appeal.

The duo is being charged with fraud, money laundering, contravening two sections of Exchange Control Act.

The complainant is Zimbabwe Power Company represented by board member Thandiwe Mlobane.


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