7 January 2018

After the fall of Robert Mugabe’s dictatorship, two former cabinet ministers who were loyal to the ex-president, have been charged with corruption.

Former foreign minister Walter Mzembi and ex-energy minister Samuel Undenge were charged on Friday with “criminal abuse of office”. Both were arrested on Friday and produced before the court on Saturday (6 January 2018). They were granted bail of $400 and $500 respectively.

Mzembi’s lawyer said the charges against his client were ridiculous, in that he donated some television sets that were idling in the minister after their use during the World Cup.

Former finance minister Ignatius Chombo is on bail after being charged in November over accusations of defrauding the central bank over a decade ago.

Their lawyers claimed that they were being charged for supporting former first lady Grace Mugabe to take over from her husband the country’s vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa. President Emmerson Mnangagwa replaced the 93-year-old Mugabe.

According to Zimbabwe Independent, two of former president Robert Mugabe’s sons, Chatunga and Robert Jr, are being investigated for illegal gold trading. Grace Mugabe’s son by her former marriage, Goreraza, is also being investigated for similar offence. Grace has been under house arrest at her Blue Roof mansion in Borrowdale Brooke.

She was only being allowed to travel to her Mazowe business empire, under escort.

In terms of the law and Constitution, the president of Zimbabwe has got immunity from certain actions during his term of office and upon retirement. Therefore, Mugabe is not being investigated. The Constitution does not provide for any immunity to the president’s family members.

Former Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Deputy Minister, under Mugabe regime, Engineer Tapiwanashe Matangaidze has allegedly been found with 32 tonnes of rice stashed in a warehouse at Chachacha Growth Point in Shurugwi, Sunday News reported. The rice was given by Chinese government as aid and the former  deputy minister could not explain how it ended up in his hands.