Tarisai Machakaire 21 August 2018
HARARE – It never rains but it pours for former Energy minister Samuel
Undenge after he was dragged back to court on Saturday on another charge.
In the latest charge, Undenge is facing fraud allegations involving $5
The State is alleging that Undenge, without following requisite
procedures, awarded a tender for Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC)’s Gwanda
project to businessman Wicknell Chivayo.
Only last month, he was 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
Undenge appeared before Harare magistrate Learnmore Mapiye on Saturday and
was released on $1 000 bail – ordered to surrender his passport, not to
interfere with witnesses and continue to reside at his current address
until finalisation of the matter.
The State advised the court that records of Chivayo and Undenge would be
married together for purposes of trial.
The duo will be back in court on Monday.
They are being charged with fraud, money laundering, contravening two
sections of Exchange Control Act.
The complainant in the matter is ZPC represented by its board member,
Prosecutor Veneranda Munyoro alleged that sometime in 2012, ZPC resolved
to increase its national grid.
A feasibility study was carried out and a tender process done in August
2013 for installation of a 100 Megawatt solar power plant in Gwanda which
was awarded to a Chinese company China Jianxi at a cost of $183 million.
The court heard Chivayo participated in the tender with a bid of $248
million being the third lowest.
However, it was alleged, Chivayo’s accomplice Undenge interfered with the
tender process and directed ZPC accounting officer Noah Gwariro to award
the tender to Chivayo and his company.
Chivayo allegedly misrepresented that he had the capacity to implement the
He reportedly won the tender at $172 848 597.
The court heard on October 23, 2015 ZPC acted on the misrepresentation and
signed a contract with Chivayo for implementation of the project.
It was alleged that ZPC released $5 607 814, 24 into Intratek bank account
for the project to commence.
Chivayo allegedly failed to implement the project but converted or
transferred the money into various individual and company accounts.
The court heard he was also authorised by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to
load $849 479 into his visa cards for importation of earth moving
equipment from America for construction at the Gwanda Solar Project.
However, it is alleged, Chivayo failed to notify the Exchange Control
Authority of all material particulars relating to importation of said
equipment into Zimbabwe and none was imported.
ZPC suffered prejudice of $5 607 814,24 and nothing recovered.