Two former ministers in Zimbabwe who are facing charges of criminal abuse of office have been granted bail by a magistrate.
Former Energy Minister Samuel Undenge and former Foreign Affairs Minister Walter Mzembi, who were arrested on Friday, were granted $300 and $400 bail respectively by Magistrate Elisha Singano in the capital, Harare. Singano ordered them to report to police once weekly and not to interfere with investigations.
Photographer: Salih Zeki Fazlioglu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Mzembi is accused of donating television sets worth $2 million to churches; the government had bought them to promote the soccer World Cup in 2010.
Undenge is accused of abusing his office by directing Zimbabwe Power Co. to give a company called Fruitful Communications a contract to carry out all its external public relations projects in 2016 without going to tender.
Undenge and Mzembi were seen to be linked to the so-called Generation-40 faction of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front loyal to Grace Mugabe, the 52-year-old wife of former president Robert Mugabe, who was deposed in a near-bloodless coup in the pre-dawn hours of Nov. 15. Mugabe resigned a week later after 37 years in power.
Some members of the faction have since fled the country, a government official familiar with the situation said in November. Among them are Saviour Kasukuwere, who led a black-empowerment ministry when about $4 billion in funds for initiatives to support black citizens disappeared, and Jonathan Moyo, who was information minister and the author of some of Zimbabwe’s most oppressive laws, the official said.