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Zifa boss denies vote-buying

by Staff reporter
08 Dec 2020 at 21:35hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE Football Association (Zifa) president Felton Kamambo (pictured), who is facing 32 counts of bribery yesterday denied the allegations before Harare Magistrate Bianca Makwande.

Kamambo, who is being represented by lawyer Tawanda Zhuwarara, is being accused of bribing Zifa councillors to vote for him in an election where he beat former association president Philip Chiyangwa. He garnered 35 votes against Chiyangwa's 24 votes.

The State, led by prosecutor Michael Reza alleges that Kamambo paid the voters using his EcoCash account as an inducement to vote for him in the December 2018 Zifa presidential elections.

Kamambo, however, told the court that the money he paid to the voters was reimbursement for transport, accommodation and food expenses incurred during the voting process.

He said other candidates in the elections, including Chiyangwa, also made similar payments to voters.

He also told the court that the general government election rules did not apply to the code of the Zifa board when running elections. He defended his win, arguing that Chiyangwa withdrew his participation after losing in the first round.

But Chiyangwa, the complainant in the case, disputed Kamambo's claims, saying that the Zifa code of elections does not infringe the Constitution, neither was it allowed for him to pay voters as the election process was being managed by the Zifa electoral committee.

He told the court that he did not campaign for the election due to poor health and he even conceded defeat before he was informed of Kamambo's alleged malpractices.

"Aspiring candidates pay nomination fees to the Zifa electoral committee, which is then used to cater for the expenses of those who participate in the elections.

"Candidates on their personal capacities therefore are not supposed to make any payment to voters as it would be inducements for votes," Chiyangwa said.

The State had initially called Robert Matoka, who was Kamambo's election agent, and later said that he should be treated as an accomplice witness in the matter.

But Zhuwara challenged the request, arguing that he had not been notified of the State's intention to treat Matoka as an accomplice witness.

Chiyangwa told the court that it was Matoka, after his fall out with Kamambo, who informed him that Kamambo had used treacherous means, including bribing the electorate, to win the election.

That prompted him to challenge Kamambo's win and press charges against him.

The trial continues today.

Source - newsday