HARARE – Former Energy minister Samuel Undenge’s wife Letwin knelt down in court in prayer when her husband was acquitted of fraud.
Undenge was accused of awarding a tender for Gwanda Solar project to controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo’s company without following prerequisite procedures.
Undenge was acquitted at the close of the State’s case after he filed an application for discharge.
In acquitting Undenge, Harare magistrate Barbra Chimboza ruled that the State failed to prove its case beyond any reasonable doubt.
Chimboza said the State’s key witness Noah Gwariro, who is the former Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC’s) managing director kept on blaming Undenge but his allegations were not justified.
She also said Gwariro was once Undenge’s co-accused, and that his evidence was not satisfactory as he was prone to lying to save himself.
“The State failed to produce concrete evidence that Noah Gwariro of ZPC was told by Undenge to pay Intratek.
“There is also no evidence that Undenge had ordered any amount to be paid by ZPC to Intratek,” said Chimboza.
During trial, Gwariro testified that when Chivayo’s Intratek failed to produce a bank guarantee, Undenge ordered him to pay the company adding that he found it difficult to resist his orders.
Undenge’s lawyer Alec Muchadehama discredited Gwariro as he was initially co-accused with his client.
“Initially, you were co-accused with my client in this very matter. Then how come he is the only accused and you are the witness?”
“The only reason you are in the witness stand and not on the dock is because you have been favoured by the State.
“You are framing the accused person because you do not want to be in the dock,” Muchadehama said.