Two former Zimbabwean cabinet ministers who served under ex-president Robert Mugabe have been charged with corruption, their lawyers said on Saturday, the latest sign of a crackdown on officials loyal to the ex-President.

Gavel Court Hammer law crime Hand Cuff

Mugabe, 93, stood down in November 2017 after 37 years in power following a de facto military coup, making way for his former deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, to take over, Reuters reported.

When the military seized power they arrested key allies of Mugabe and his wife, Grace, who was vying with Mnangagwa to succeed her husband.

Former foreign minister, Walter Mzembi and ex-energy minister, Samuel Undenge, were charged on Friday with “criminal abuse of office,” their lawyers said.

They both deny wrongdoing.

Undenge is accused of issuing a $12,650 contract without due tender to a company that did no work.

Mzembi and Undenge were granted bail on Saturday, asked to surrender their passports and remanded until January 22 when their cases will be heard.

“We are going to make an application for an exception to the charge because the charges that my client is facing are ridiculous,” Job Sikhala, Mzembi’s lawyer, told journalists outside the court.

Undenge’s lawyer, Alex Muchadehama, described the case against his client as a “circus.”

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