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Kamambo loses discharge application

by Staff reporter
15 Mar 2022 at 05:31hrs | Views
SUSPENDED Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) president Felton Kamambo, yesterday indicated that he might appeal against the decision by Harare regional magistrate Mrs Bianca Makwande to dismiss his application for discharge on bribery charges at the close of the State's case.

Speaking through his lawyer Mr Chenaimoyo Gumiro after the court dismissed his application, Kamambo said he will weigh the decision to appeal against the ruling before he returns to court on Thursday when he will be given a date for his defence case.

"We will sit and discuss whether to appeal against the ruling at the High Court or go for our defence case," said Mr Gumiro.

Kamambo is charged with bribery after he allegedly paid ZIFA councillors to vote him to the top position during the December 2018 elections.

Mrs Makwande dismissed Kamambo's application saying the State had managed to lead evidence that warrants him to be put to his defence.

She said although the court was alive to the fact that the elections were conducted under secret ballot and there is no evidence to show how councillors voted, evidence led by State "led one to presume that the monies paid to the councillors were for obtaining an advantage".

"The court also questioned the timing when Kamambo decided to pay the voters various amounts through EcoCash. In addition to this, the State statement by a witness Robert Matoka, who was declared a hostile witness by the court, made a statement to the police that he made payments to agents for them to vote for the accused, which statement is before the court.

"The court cannot turn a blind eye to the statement although the witness said he was made to write the statement by the police, his account was not satisfactory given that his report to Philip Chiyangwa that led to the investigation to commence, and which the investigations unearthed, that there were various payments made to agents," said Mrs Makwande before dismissing Kamambo's application.''

Kamambo applied for discharge at the close of the State case saying the State had failed to prove a case against him from the evidence it led from its own witnesses.

He also argued that there was no evidence to prove that the participants in the 2018 elections received bribes as alleged by the State with the payments just to reimburse expenses.

He had argued that the 12 witnesses denied receiving bribes, inducements or gifts and so there was no evidence that they were bribed.

"The accused did not deny paying cash to the State witnesses, and the later did not deny receiving same.

The issue is what was the payment for," he said, arguing that it was reimbursement of expenses.

Kamambo said he had no way of knowing how the people had voted since it was a secret vote and those who voted were voting on behalf of their members who had decided who they should support.

"The State failed to prove that any of the members or the principals made a report complaining that their agent did not honour the instructions that they had given him," he said.

Source - The Herald