Zimbabwe’s former Energy Minister Samuel Undenge became the first high-level G40-member to be jailed for corruption.
He was sentenced to four years in jail but one-and-a-half years were suspended leaving him to serve and effective two-and-a-half-years.
Undenge was convicted by Harare magistrate Hosea Mujaya of directing the Zimbabwe Power Company to engage Fruitful Communications Company which was owned by a Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation journalist Oscar Pambuka and ZANU-PF legislator Psychology Maziwisa.
Undenge claimed that he wrote the letter on the instructions of then Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s office but Mujaya said Undenge wrote the letter.
His lawyer, Alex Muchadehama said he would appeal the ruling at the High Court.
“We are certainly appealing against the conviction and the ruling because we feel the magistrate did not exercise his mind to the case and this judgment goes against established principles of sentencing and the level of sentence is shocking,” he said.
Several G40 high ranking members are awaiting trial including Former Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo, youth leader Kudzai Chipanga, Foreign Affairs Minister Walter Mzembi, Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister Jason Machaya.