Mugabe ministers in court on graft charges

Two former ministers under then President Robert Mugabe appeared in court in Harare on Wednesday on corruption charges, nearly a year after Zimbabwe’s long-time ruler resigned.

Mugabe’s successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa has vowed to crack down on corruption, though critics say his government is still mired in the corruption that marred the Mugabe era.

Former information, communication and technology minister Supa Mandiwanzira (pictured) faces two graft charges involving $5m.

Harare’s chief provincial magistrate granted him bail of $2 000 and set his trial date for December 10.

In a separate room of the same court complex, the trial of Saviour Kasukuwere, a former local government, youth and environment minister and a senior figure in the ruling Zanu PF party, also got under way on Wednesday.

Kasukuwere who is facing charges of illegally parcelling out land worth $2m to former first lady Grace Mugabe’s sister, pleaded not guilty.

Also Wednesday, Mugabe’s son-in-law Simba Chikore appeared in the same court for a routine remand hearing on kidnapping charges over the alleged detention of an airline official.

Magistrate Elisha Singano said Chikore would stand trial on December 14.

Since Mugabe’s resigation in November 2017, authorities have arrested several of his allies including former home affairs minister Ignatius Chombo and former energy minister Samuel Undenge.

Mnangagwa won disputed elections in July after succeeding Mugabe, who had ruled for 37 years. – AFP

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