Former Zimbabwean ministers charged with corruption

8 Jan 18

Two former Zimbabwean ministers have been charged with corruption in the crackdown on officials close to former president Robert Mugabe. 

The two cabinet ministers served under the ex-president, who stood down in November after 37 years in power when the military seized power and arrested key allies of his. 

Walter Mzembi, former foreign minister, and Samuel Undenge, former energy minister, were charged with “criminal abuse of office” on Friday, but both deny the allegations.

Undenge is accused of issuing a $12,650 contract without due tender to a company that did no work, according to Reuters.

Both ex-ministers were granted bail on Saturday, but were asked to handover their passports and remanded until 22 January when their cases will be heard.

The lawyer of Mzembi, Job Sikhala, told reporters outside the court: “We are going to make an application for an exception to the charge because the charges that my client is facing are ridiculous.”

The former finance minister Ignatius Chombo is on bail after he was charged in November over fraud charges. He also denies wrongdoing.

Former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in as the president of Zimbabwe at the end of November.

Economic recovery in the country will still be difficult even after the ex-president’s resignation, a research fellow at the Overseas Development Institute said in November.

The new government presented its first budget statement in December, which included spending cuts to reduce the national fiscal deficit.

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