Undenge’s last bid for freedom hits wall
Chief Court Reporter
Jailed former Energy and Power Development Minister Samuel Undenge has no prospects of success on a second appeal against his conviction and sentence for corruption, the High Court ruled when throwing out his application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.
Undenge was slapped with an effective 30-month jail term after being convicted of criminal abuse of office by a Harare Magistrates’ Court for corruptly instructing the Zimbabwe Power Company, Zesa’s generation arm, to hire former Highfield MP Psychology Maziwisa and former ZBC news anchor Oscar Pambuka as consultants for which they were paid US$12 659.
He appealed against both conviction and sentence to the High Court, but the two-judge bench that heard this appeal found the magistrate had acted correctly and he was then returned to the Magistrates Court where he was committed to prison.
He then applied for leave to make a second appeal to the Supreme Court, and for bail pending the outcome of that appeal, both applications made through his lawyer, Mr Alec Muchadehama, to the High Court.
But in a judgment delivered on Monday, Justice Joseph Musakwa concluded that Undenge’s prospects of success on appeal against his conviction and his sentence were nil.
This also had a bearing on the former minister’s application for bail pending appeal, which in any case, is predicated on prospects of success in the intended appeal.