Jailed former Energy minister Samuel Undenge, who was last week slapped with a four-year jail term for corruption after prejudicing the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) of $12 000, has petitioned the High Court seeking to overturn both his conviction and sentence.
BY CHARLES LAITON
In his application which is set to be heard today, Undenge said Zanu PF MP, Psychology Maziwisa and broadcaster, Oscar Pambuka used him in their plot to defraud the power utility company.
Undenge further said Harare regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya misdirected himself when he convicted him of the offence “for merely signing a letter that was dictated to him by Pambuka, Maziwisa” on behalf of their company, Fruitful Communications.
“The court a quo erred and misdirected itself by ignoring that the letter was motivated by Oscar Pambuka, Psychology Maziwisa and Fruitful Communications with an intention to defraud ZPC which actions destroyed appellant’s mens rea (knowledge of wrongdoing) and actus reus (conduct which is a constituent element of a crime) to commit the offence in question,” Undenge said.
It was the State’s case that sometime in January 2016, Maziwisa and Pambuka took a letter to ZPC from Undenge, directing the power utility company to work with their firm at intervals of six months per engagement.
Following Undenge’s letter, the power company engaged the pair to whom it then lost the said money.
But through his lawyer, Aleck Muchadehama, Undenge said Mujaya, erred in his findings.
“The court a quo further erred and misdirected itself by convicting the appellant (Undenge) for merely signing a letter that was dictated to him by Pambuka, Maziwisa and Fruitful Communications,” he said.
“The court a quo erred and misdirected itself in imposing a sentence which induces a sense of shock, horror, repulsion and outrage. The court further erred in paying lip-service to the mitigating factors of the appellant and choosing instead to dwell on irrelevant factors that were extraneous the record.”
Undenge further said none of the essential elements were proven against him, adding the regional magistrate placed the onus on him to prove his innocence, when it was the duty of the State to do so.
The convicted former minister also said the regional magistrate had also misdirected himself in sentencing him on the basis that he had helped a fellow Zanu PF colleague, when there was no evidence to support the averment.