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Witnesses in witch hunt Zifa case will not be prosecuted

by Staff reporter
13 Dec 2021 at 07:07hrs | Views
Witnesses in the Zimbabwe Football Association president Felton Kamambo's bribery case are free from prosecution.

The State led by Michael Reza had asked the court to declare them hostile after supporting the Zifa boss in a case he is accused of paying his way to the top football post.

Magistrate Bianca Makwande ruled that the witnesses were only narrating what they said on their statements and cannot be charged for that.

The State called for the arrest of witness Robert Matoka, who had dismissed earlier statement he made to the police that Kamambo had paid Zifa councillors to vote for him.

In his statement Matoka said the contents of the statement was written by Philip Chiyangwa, who was defeated by Kamambo during the Zifa presidential elections and he only signed an already written statement.

Before he finished his testimony in court Matoka was arrested outside court by the police who said his immunity to arrest was lost and will be charged as witness in accomplice.

But Matoka was released without a charge and the incident was viewed as an attempt to intimidate witnesses to testify against Kamambo.

Last week, four witnesses cleared Kamambo, saying the money they received was for transport, food and accommodation.

The State alleges Kamambo bribed his way to become Zifa president.

Witness Brenda Gorejena, a Women Football board member responsible for fixtures, Tafadzwa Mujuru, Ropafadzo Matemavi and Givemore Chidhakwa all testified that they received money from Kamambo's campaign manager, Robert Matoka, to cover for transport and food expenses at the time he launched his election manifesto.

The witnesses all testified that what Kamambo did was done by all candidates who vied for the top Zifa post job.

They indicated that Bryton Malandule, Chamu Chiwanza among also paid them transport allowance to attend their manifesto launch.

However, the State tried to have the court charge the witnesses but magistrate Makwande ruled that the witness must freely testify and will not be charged.

The matter was postponed to December 16 and 17 for continuation.

Allegations are that in December 2018, Kamambo offered gifts or considerations from his EcoCash to Zifa 2018 congress voters.

The State alleges all the gifts or considerations paid by Kamambo were reportedly meant to induce voters to vote for him and were documented in his EcoCash history on the number he was using at the time of arrest and those of the voters.

The EcoCash history of the inducements he paid were lawfully obtained as exhibits and will be produced in court as evidence.

The State alleges that there was no agreement or arrangement in place between Zifa Electoral Committee and voters entitling them to receive such considerations or gifts as indicated in the schedule.

As a result of the payments, Kamambo received 35 votes against the 24 votes received by Chiyangwa and was announced the eventual winner by Vusi Vuma, the Zifa Electoral Committee chairman.

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe
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