The Morgan Tsvangirai led MDC-T party has demanded that police “urgently” investigate and instigate corruption charges against Energy Minister Samuel Undenge for unprocedurally awarding tenders to “undeserving” companies and individuals.
Government recently handed a $400 million solar power project tender deal at a Gwanda school to controversial Harare Wicknell Chivayo who regularly touts his friendship with President Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace.
“(Government) approved a $400-million-dollar deal as a tender to a misguided high school drop-out and ex-convict who has gone to town with a blank cheque splashing gifts and insulting anyone and everyone who dares question the source of his ‘wealth’.
“It is a matter of public record that one Wicknell Chivhayo is an ex-convict. It’s also public knowledge that the Gwanda power project is yet to take off. There is no evidence of public works having commenced on the project to date,” said MDC-T spokesman Obert Gutu in a statement.
Energy minister Samuel Undenge this week conceded that a payment of $5m do the businessman by power utility ZESA contravened tender procedures but insisted that there had not been any prejudice to the State.
“The majority of Zimbabweans are incensed by the crude and ostentatious manner in which one Chivayo has been splashing ill-gotten tender money including spoiling Grace Mugabe and her family with gifts and free restaurant meals in upmarket restaurants in Dubai,” said Gutu.
“Simply because one Chivayo has ‘donated’ some of his dirty money to bankroll the Zimbabwe national team, the Warriors, as well as purchasing air tickets for a few stranded Zimbabwean ladies in Kuwait, he is now the new national superman.
“And even his dirty past has been sanitized as money changes hands in high office towers. How cheap!”
Undenge was also reported as having ordered ZESA, which has its own public relations departments, to hire a PR company fronted by Zanu-PF deputy director of information and Highfield West legislator Psychology Maziwisa.
Gutu said there was clear evidence of corruption in both cases, describing the energy minister as “essentially a common law criminal masquerading as a government official”.
“We are calling upon the country’s law enforcement agencies to immediately launch criminal investigations against Samuel Undenge, Wicknell Chivayo, Pyschology Maziwisa, Oscar Pambuka and all other persons who are either directly and/or indirectly connected with the corrupt shenanigans that have been taking place at the Energy Ministry,” he said.
Gutu said the Energy Minister should resign from government, failing which President Mugabe should fire him.
“In any normal and functional democracy, Minister Undenge should have been immediately fired from Cabinet that is, if he hadn’t seen it fit and proper to voluntarily resign in shame,” said Gutu.
“It is apparent that corruption and graft are easily tolerated within the rogue Zanu-PF regime. President Robert Mugabe has never fired any Cabinet Minister for corruption.
“The long and short of it, therefore, is that Mugabe himself is the face of corruption and willing and dealing.”