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Mugabe-era minister jailed. Mnangagwa living up to promise to fight corruption?

A former minister who served under Zimbabwe’s ex president Robert Mugabe was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to four years in jail on Friday. The conviction is unique as it is the first to hit a Mugabe-era official since the emergence of coup leader, and now president, Emmerson Mnangagwa

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A former minister who served under Zimbabwe’s ex president Robert Mugabe was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to four years in jail on Friday. The conviction is unique as it is the first to hit a Mugabe-era official since the emergence of coup leader, and now president, Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mugabe resigned in November after 37 years in power following a military coup. His former deputy, Mnangagwa, took power, vowing to root out corruption in a bid to attract investors to an economy crippled by a decade of hyperinflation and a sharp shortage of foreign currency.

Samuel Undenge, an energy minister in Mugabe’s cabinet, was accused of issuing a $12,650 contract without due tender to a company that did no work.

His lawyer Alex Muchadehama told Reuters that he would appeal the court’s decision, saying the sentence was “shocking”.

Read Also: Like father, like…? Zuma’s son charged with corruption

While Undenge’s next move is awaited, Mnangagwa may have served early notice that he means the battle against corruption. The courts in Zimbabwe are bracing up to deal with allegations against former foreign minister Walter Mzembi charged with “criminal abuse of office”, and former finance minister Ignatius Chombo who has been accused of trying to defraud the central bank over a decade ago.

They both deny wrongdoing.

The southern African nation chooses a new president and members of
parliament on July 30 in what is expected to be a close race between Mnangagwa’s ZANU-PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Critics of the Mnangagwa’s administration see him as an opportunist whose claims to anti-corruption war are purely cosmetic and intended to hoodwink Zimbabweans into hanging on on to power.

Metro

South African serial rapist gets four life imprisonment terms

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A South African serial rapist and killer, Philani Justice Nkosi, has been sentenced to four life imprisonment terms by a Mpumalanga High Court for rape and murder.

The court also sentenced the 35-year-old to 15 years imprisonment after he was found guilty of murdering one of his victims who recognised him.

Nkosi was sentenced on Friday after the court found him guilty of one count of murder, three counts of rape and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson, Monica Nyuswa, who expressed satisfaction with the sentence, said Nkosi committed the offences between 2014 and 2018 in Bhuga Trust and Halfway Trust in KaBokweni.

“In one incident which stands out, the accused attacked a 12-year-old victim while she was on the way to the local shop. He dragged her to the nearby bush, raped and strangled her to death,” Nyuswa said.

“He also raped another woman in March 2016, stabbed and robbed her of cash.

“The accused continued with his crime spree until December 2018 when he raped an adult woman who was on her way home from work.

“The matter was reported to the police, and the accused was subsequently arrested and linked to other crimes through DNA,” Nyuswa said.

Nkosi who pleaded not guilty to the crimes, claimed the two rape survivors were prostitutes and that the deceased was his girlfriend.

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Tanzanian court sentences 11 people to death for killing South African conservationist

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A Tanzanian High Court has sentenced 11 people to death after they were found guilty of killing a South African conservationist, Wayne Lotter, who was murdered in Dar es Salaam in 2017.

The convicts include nine Tanzanians and two citizens of neighbouring Burundi.

The victim was a renowned anti-poaching activist who was singled out by the convicts for disrupting their illegal poaching activities, according to prosecutors while testifying in court on Friday.

State prosecutors told Judge Leila Mgonya that the 51-year-old Lotter who was based in Tanzania, was a founder of the PAMS Foundation, an NGO which worked to stop the poaching of elephants and trafficking of ivory in the East African country.

He was shot dead in Dar es Salaam when the taxi he was travelling in was ambushed and though the exact motive for his killing is still unknown, his colleagues believe he was singled out for his work on protecting elephants, local media reports.

While handing down the death sentences, Judge Mgonya said there was compelling evidence that linked the 11 to the two counts of conspiracy to commit murder and murder on which they were charged

“Some of the suspects, in their statements recorded by police officers, confessed to have taken part in the conspiracy meetings and in killing. The evidence provided was strong enough to convict them,” the judge said.

Tanzania is one of the worst hit African countries in terms of elephant poaching, with a data released early this year noting that more than 66,000 elephants have been lost in the last 10 years due to the activities of illegal poachers.

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