Undenge’s R226 000 maintenance arrears
22 June 2018
FORMER Energy and Power Development minister Samuel Undenge, 62, pleaded not guilty to defaulting maintenance amounting to 226 805 rand when he appeared before Harare magistrate Annie Ndiraya yesterday.
Undenge was dragged to court by his ex-wife Angeline Undenge, 49, for allegations of failing to maintain and pay school fees for his 22-year-old son, Christian, who is enrolled at a university in South Africa.
The State led by prosecutor Devotion Gwashavanhu-Nyagano is alleging that the accused was on March 2014 ordered to pay $200 a month and fees for Christian who is also a student at a South African university.
According to the State, Undenge is alleged to have defaulted since March 2016 leading to accruing of arrears. The State alleges that Undenge had to pay the arrears since his son had already lost lessons at university because he had been barred from lectures without updating his fees.
Through his defence, Alec Muchadehama, Undenge filed for an exception of charges indicating that the “child in question was no longer a minor.”
“The child in question is no longer a minor and at the same time what the State is alleging that he has missed lessons is incorrect because we are talking of someone who is at a tertiary institution.
“The facts by the State do not disclose that an offence was committed and the accused is asking for a verdict that he be found not guilty and acquitted,” said Muchadehama.
Muchadehama further indicated that his client had stopped paying maintenance after approaching the civil court which granted his application.
He also pointed that there was no need for the matter to be made criminal since Undenge only stopped paying maintenance after approaching the civil court notifying that he was no longer paying maintenance since his son is now an adult.
Magistrate Ndiraya set the matter for ruling next week Friday.
Meanwhile, Undenge is today expected to appear in court for a ruling in a matter in which he is accused of criminal abuse of office as Energy minister after allegedly awarding a tender to Fruitful Communications without following procedure.
Fruitful Communications is jointly owned by Highfield MP Psychology Maziwisa and broadcaster Oscar Pambuka.