Former Energy Minister Samuel Undenge, who was last week jailed for an effective two-and-a-half years for abuse of office, has withdrawn his bail application at the magistrate court on the basis that the State was showing lack of urgency.

Undenge, through his lawyer Mr Alec Muchadehama, has since appealed against both conviction and sentence at the High Court.

The High Court application was based on the fact that he felt the penalty he had received was too excessive and induced a sense of shock and outrage.

He had argued that a community service or fine would have been appropriate.

It was on the basis of the High Court application that Undenge had made a bail application at the magistrates’ court that would enable him to await judgment from the higher court while outside prison.

He appeared before magistrate Mr Hosea Mujaya after the matter was rolled over to yesterday since the State had indicated that it had just been given the notice of appeal and needed time to go through it.

“Your Worship, I have received instructions from my client to no longer proceed with the bail application,” said Mr Muchadehama.

“We have decided to launch the bail application at the High Court.

“This court is not treating the matter with the urgency that it deserves.”

Mr Majaya did not respond to the allegation, but simply ordered that the matter be removed from the court roll.

Undenge was convicted for abuse of office after he hand-picked a public relations company for the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) without going to tender.

The public relations company, Fruitful Communications, owned by Zanu-PF Highfield legislator Psychology Maziwisa and former ZBC News anchor Oscar Pambuka, received more than $12 000 from ZPC, which the court says it did not deserve.

Maziwisa and Pambuka are appearing in court over the matter.

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