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Witness nails Chiyangwa in Kamambo bribe case

by Staff reporter
04 May 2021 at 05:25hrs | Views
FORMER Zifa boss Philip Chiyangwa and the police have been accused of helping build a case against current Zifa president Felton Kamambo, who is being accused of bribing his way into office.

Key State witness Robert Matoka, a former police inspector alleged that Chiyangwa was the one who wrote the affidavits, implicating Kamambo, which he was later forced to sign.

Matoka further told court that the police officers dealing with the matter also threatened him with arrest if he refused to append his signature on a statement that had already been written for him.

Kamambo is being accused of bribing Zifa councillors to win Zifa elections and become the association's president.

He is denying the allegations levelled against him.

Kamambo is being represented by Advocate Tawanda Zhuwarara.

Matoka disowned the statement, saying he only signed under duress. He also said the money that the Zifa councillors were given was for their transport to meet up with Kamambo and his campaign team.

Michael Reza representing the State asked the court to declare him a hostile witness, saying Matoka had shifted from his earlier statements.

"The prosecution has the views that the witness committed the same crime. However, the State wishes to advise him that if he tells the truth he will be absolved of the crimes. No evidence said in this court shall be used to prosecute you," Reza said.

Matoka, who was Kamambo's campaign manager, told the court that the two first clashed during their time in the Zifa board.

Chiyangwa was the then president while Kamambo was a board member. Kamambo was banned from all football activities after he demanded that Zifa elections be held as the term of office had expired.

"He clashed with Chiyangwa after asking the Zifa board to hold elections as the term of office for the then Zifa board had elapsed, " Matoka told court. "Chiyangwa was not happy and fired him from Zifa and banned him from all football activities.

"He (Kamambo) submitted his papers for nomination (for the elections), but his candidature was declined. He then approached Fifa to allow him to participate and the call was granted."

Matoka said after the ban was lifted by Fifa, Kamambo didn't have enough time to campaign as it was only 10 days before the election date.

"There were only 10 days left for election. He did not have time to campaign. Throughout the year Chiyangwa had been campaigning so we decided to congregate councillors and some were coming from Southern Region, so we had to send them money for transport since they could not use their own funds to travel."

Matoka said they held a meeting in Kwekwe and later on proceeded to Bulawayo to meet other councillors.

"The money was for transport to come for the meeting," he said.

Reza asked the court to declare his witness hostile saying he had departed from his initial statements.

"Your worship, the witness has departed from what he wrote in the initial statement. He wants to kill the state case," Reza said. But Matoka stood firm.

"Chiyangwa took advantage of my rift with Kamambo and he wrote the two affidavits and the first one I signed at Chiyangwa's office while the second one it was at police station and those two statements had already been wrote," Matoka said.

Matoka said he signed the statements under duress and the police officers threatened him with arrest if he did not sign them. Reza insisted that Matoka had departed from his earlier statements and wanted the court to declare Matoka a hostile witness.

Magistrate Bianca Makwande postponed the matter to today to consider the application to declare Matoka hostile.

Source - newsday