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Jailed Ex-Minister Takes Freedom Bid to High Court

Convicted former energy minister Samuel Undenge on Wednesday abandoned a decision to apply for bail pending appeal at the magistrates’ court saying his case was being handled unfairly.

He told the Harare magistrate who sent him to jail, Hosea Mujaya, that he was, instead, approaching the High Court directly.

The case was then struck off the court roll and will no longer be entertained at the lower court.

“We are no longer pursuing the application. I have instructions to approach the High Court directly,” said Undenge’s lawyer Alec Muchadehama.

In an interview later, the defence attorney said his client made this decision upon realising that his concerns were being taken for granted.

“The State’s response is slow and its unfair for my client. There was no justice to this case and the state continues to drag its feet while my client is languishing in prison.”

Muchadehama gave his notice to appeal against the conviction and sentence of his client on Tuesday.

He approached the courts seeking the release of his client on bail pending hearing of the appeal by the High Court.

However, the application could not be heard by the magistrate’s court after the State indicated that they were served with the notice late.

Undenge was recently sentenced to an effective two years’ imprisonment for criminal abuse of office.

In his notice of appeal, the former minister complained that he was wrongly convicted.

He insisted that he never directed Fruitful communications company to work with Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) without going to tender as alleged by the State.

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