Samuel Undenge

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Honorable
Samuel Undenge
Minister
Samuel Undenge
Image Via: Herald
Native name Samuel Undenge
Born Chimanimani, Zimbabwe
Nationality Zimbabwean
Ethnicity Manyika
Citizenship Zimbabwean
Occupation Politician, Businessman
Years active 2000 to present
Employer Government of Zimbabwe
Organization Ministry of Energy and Power Development
Notable work(s) Directed the Reduction of Fuel Prices
Home town Chimanimani
Title Honorable Minister
Term 2013
Predecessor Dzikamai Mavhaire
Political party
Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front
Movement Nationalist
Opponent(s) Movement for Democratic Change
Spouse(s) Latina Undenge

Samuel Undenge is a Zimbabwean politician who is with the ruling party - ZANU PF. He is also the Minister of Energy and Power Development as well as Member of Parliament for Chimanimani East constituency in Manicaland province.


Background

Samuel Undenge was born and raised in the Chimanimani area of Manicaland, an area popularly known as the Eastern Highlands in Zimbabwe. Undenge first got married to one Rosemary Nyamande but the marriage was short-lived as the couple quickly parted ways.[1] He was also once married to another woman Angeline Munyeza and the two eventually separated after siring two children. He then got married in 2006 to a businesswoman Latina Undenge who owns a gambling firm, Star Lotto. The couple has children together.[2]

Political career

The political life of Undenge can be traced back from his home area of Chimanimani in the eastern highlands of Zimbabwe. He rose to fame when he became the member of parliament for Chimanimani east constituency. His post as a member of parliament exposed him to the more challenging yet more lucrative positions in party and government. He was first appointed Minister of Anti corruption, a government ministry which dealt specifically with the scourge of corruption which had marred public institutions and state department during period. In 2013, Undenge was part of the government formed by Robert Mugabe led ZANU PF party after the 31 July presidential elections which saw the disbundling of the Government of National Unity. He was awarded the office of the deputy minister in the Ministry of Finance which was being led by Patrick Chinamasa. It was during his tenure in as deputy minister of Finance when the ZANU PF party was involved in serious factional fights which saw the deposition of the vice president Joice Mujuru, senior party members such as Rugare Gumbo, and cabinet ministers such as Nicholas Goche. It appears Undenge was part of the party of leaders that remained loyal to president Robert Mugabe. After the deposition of Dzikamai Mavhaire from the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, Undenge took over as the Minister. He was sworn in as the new Minister of Energy and Power Development of 12 December 2014 by president Robert Mugabe together with other incoming ministers who included Oppah Muchinguri, Supa Mandiwanzira and Christopher Mutsvangwa.[3] As the minister of energy, Undenge was faced with the daunting task of restoring normalcy in the provision of power to the corporate institutions and households after years of inefficiency by the power regulatory authority, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority Holdings.

Business Interests

Undenge is believed to be the co-owner of Star Lotto which is run by his wife Latina. Star Lotto, which is a gambling establishment has over 200 terminals in the country. It is believed that as part of the requirements, the lottery firm cedes 25% of its profits towards charity; that is orphanages, old people's homes, health services among others. Star Lotto has also brought in international partners and made sure that verification and audit of numbers are done outside the country to limit chances of forgery and corruption. Star Lotto also joined a number of other growing lottery establishments. Besides the gambling business, Undenge also owns a textile firm Fartingale Designs Private Limited which operates under the trade name Panashe Fashions which has branches in Harare.[4] Undenge also owns a farm in Chimanimani where he is involved in commercial crop production.[5]

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Scandals and Controversies

In April 2014, Undenge was involved in a maintenance fight with his ex-wife Angeline Munyeza for the upkeep of his two children he sired with her.[5] Undenge, since 2005 was been contributing towards the upkeep of his two children he sired with Angeline Munyeza, paying $650 per month for both of them until the arrangement was changed by the courts after he had launched an application which argued that one of the children had turned 18 years and could not continue under the maintenance.[5] Undenge's company were also involved in a legal battle with MIPF Holdings, a Harare based estates and properties company. The MIPF wanted Undenge's company, Fartingale Designs (PVT) LTD t/a Panashe Fashions, evicted from number 5 Central Avenue in Harare for failure to pay rent and other costs amounting to US$40 000. In papers lodged with High Court by MIPF lawyers, the fund charges that Undenges company was defaulted on rent and operating costs April 2009 and 2011.

Successes

In 2003, Undenge was credited for being one of the most innovative leaders who could help in the fight aganist the struggling economy. This was when the country was suffering from economic lapse after a series of droughts coupled with hyperinflation. In one of the local newspapers, the writer argued that, argued; "I feel that this is one of the few progressive economic minds that deserve to help shape our economic agenda in parliament. Without being disrespectful to our current MPs, he is one of the very few with enough knowledge on both local and international economic intricacies." [6] This gives the impression that Undenge was the preferred candidate for parliament as compared to his opponent Roy Bennett who was contesting for the Movement for Democratic Change party.

Directive to Reduce Fuel Prices A few weeks after assuming office as minister of Energy and Power Development, he registered considerable success when he issued a directive to reduce fuel prices in direct response to the declining international fuel prices. For some days, local fuel dealers resisted the move but through his directive the prices subsequently fell down. In one of the press conferences relating to the matter, Undenge was quoted as saying, “It is important to note that the price of fuel is influenced by many factors in different countries. In Zimbabwe, the December FOB (free-on-board) based maximum pump prices that I expect to take effect by January 14, 2015 are composed of almost 50% fixed costs and 50% variable costs,”.[7]

Trivia

  • Undenge was part of the cabinet which was rated as the worst in Zimbabwean history.[8]

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References

  1. , Undenges company faces eviction,The Zimbabwean, published:26 Nov 2011,retrieved:26 Dec 2014"
  2. G. Muzari, Punters fall for Star Lotto,The Standard, published:20 Jan 2013,retrieved:26 Dec 2014"
  3. H. Zharare, Cabinet Reshuffled,The Herald, published:12 Dec 2014,retrieved:26 Dec 2014"
  4. , Undenges company faces eviction,The Zimbabwean, published:26 Nov 2011,retrieved:26 Dec 2014"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 F. Munyoro, Undenge relief as maintenance case dismissed,Nehanda Radio, published:3 Apr 2014,retrieved:26 Dec 2014" Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "radio" defined multiple times with different content
  6. D. Zulu, Why Dr Undenge should go to parly,Zimbabwe Independent, published:4 Jul 2003 ,retrieved:2 Jan 2015"
  7. , Govt slashes fuel prices,NewsDay, published:10 Jan 2015,retrieved:16 Jan 2015"
  8. F. Kwaramba, Mugabe's current Cabinet rated worst ever,Daily News, published:26 Dec 2014,retrieved:26 Dec 2014"