Former Cabinet minister Samuel Undenge yesterday petitioned the court to relax his bail conditions to allow him time to hunt for a job.
The plea was granted by Harare magistrate Tilda Mazhande, who relaxed Undenge’s reporting conditions from once a week to once a fortnight.
He reports at Highlands Police Station.
Undenge had wanted the reporting conditions completely scrapped but prosecutor Michael Reza argued that he had not presented special circumstances as required.
“There are no changed circumstances and the accused person has been coming to court precisely because of those conditions,” Reza said.
“When he was ordered to continue residing at his present address the accused person gave a Harare address and for him to now say he is being inconvenienced because he has to be in Chimanimani means he is breaching the bail conditions.”
Undenge’s lawyer Alec Muchadehama said his client had been religiously attending court sessions and should not be prejudiced by prosecution whose case is weak and staggering to proceed to trial.
“Since January the accused person has been coming to court and the State has not indicated when the trial will commence.
“The passage of time indicates that the State is not ready and their case is weak,” Muchadehama said.
“The accused person is having challenges in raising money for transport to continue coming to court from Chimanimani where he is now doing farming.
“He is job hunting and hence the reporting condition is an unnecessary burden on his part.”
Prosecutor Michael Reza alleged that on January 14, 2016, Undenge gave a directive to Zimbabwe Power Company to engage Fruitful Communications without going to tender.
Fruitful Communications was supposed to disseminate information of all ZimAsset-based projects.
“As a result Fruitful Communications fraudulently invoiced $12 650 to ZPC which they were paid without doing any work,” reads part of Undenge’s charge.