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Former Zimbabwe ministers loyal to Mugabe charged with corruption

Suzana Rahman

Two former Zimbabwean cabinet ministers who served under ex-president Robert Mugabe have been charged with corruption, their lawyers said on January 6, 2018, and the latest sign of a crackdown on officials loyal to Mugabe. Mugabe, 93, stood down in November after 37 years in power following a de facto military coup, making way for his former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa to take over. Former foreign minister Walter Mzembi and ex-energy minister Samuel Undenge were charged on Friday with  “criminal abuse of office”, their lawyers said. They both deny any sort of wrongdoing. For issuing a $12,650 contract Undenge is being charged without due tender to a company that did not work, according to a charge sheet. Mzembi and Undenge were granted bail on Saturday, asked to surrender their passports and remanded until Jan. 22 when their cases will be heard. “We are going to make an application for an exception to the charge because the charges that my client is facing are ridiculous,” Job Sikhala, Mzembi’s lawyer, told reporters outside the court.Undenge’s lawyer Alex Muchadehama described the case against his client as a “circus”. The previous finance minister Ignatius Chombo is on bail after being charged in November over accusations he tried to defraud the central bank more than ten years back. Chombo denies crime.-Source: Reuters

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