Zimbabwe’s Ex-Minister Jailed For Corruption

Ex-Energy Minister Samuel Undenge

 

A former minister who served under Zimbabwe’s ex-president Robert Mugabe, Samuel Undenge, was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to four years in jail on Friday, his lawyer said, the first conviction of a Mugabe-era official since he stepped down.

Mugabe resigned in November after 37 years in power following a military coup. His former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa took power, vowing to root out corruption in a bid to attract investors to an economy crippled by a decade of hyperinflation and a sharp shortage of foreign currency.

Undenge, an energy minister in Mugabe’s cabinet, was accused of issuing a $12,650 contract without due tender to a company that did no work.

His lawyer Alex Muchadehama told Reuters that he would appeal the court’s decision, saying the sentence was “shocking”.

He will however only serve two and half years of the four-year sentence after the court said 18 months would be conditionally suspended.

Former foreign minister Walter Mzembi faces charges of “criminal abuse of office”, and former finance minister Ignatius Chombo has been charged tried to defraud the central bank over a decade ago. They both deny wrongdoing.

The southern African nation chooses a new president and members of parliament on July 30 in what is expected to be a close race between Mnangagwa’s ZANU-PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

A poll published on Friday showed the vote would provide no clear winner, with 40 percent of voters choosing Mnangagwa and 37 percent his opponent, Nelson Chamisa.

Rwandan ex-minister jailed for life over genocide

The U.N. war crimes tribunal for Rwanda sentenced former minister Callixte Nzabonimana to life in prison on Thursday after he was found guilty of playing a key role in his country’s 1994 genocide.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), based in Arusha in Tanzania, convicted the former Rwandan Minister of Youth and Associate Movements for genocide, conspiracy, incitement and extermination as a crime against humanity.

“The trial chamber found that … Nzabonimana instigated the killing of Tutsis. It also found Nzabonimana guilty of entering into two separate agreements to kill Tutsis,” ICTR said in a statement.

The former Rwandan politician, 59, was arrested in Tanzania in February 2008.

Ethnic Hutu militia and soldiers butchered 800,000 minority Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus in the tiny east African country in just 100 days between April and June 1994.

REUTERS