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Kamambo acquitted

by Staff reporter
06 Apr 2024 at 12:33hrs | Views
FORMER Zimbabwe Football Association(ZIFA) president Felton Kamambo, who was accused of bribing his way to the presidency of the football motherbody, has been acquitted by the courts.

Regional magistrate Bianca Makwande acquitted Kamambo after a long trial as the State failed to prove its case against him.

In her ruling, Mrs Makwande noted that the State failed to prove that Kamambo bribed agents and its key witness Robert Matoka, who was Kamambo's elections campaign manager, disowned his statement that agents were bribed.

"To make matters worse for the State, the key witness Mr Robert Matoka, who was the accused's campaign manager, disowned his statement that he had reported to ZIFA that the accused was paying bribes to delegates.

"He maintained that this money was to cover expenses for delegates who were invited to the campaigns and was not bribe money," she said.

Mr Matoka, under cross-examination, maintained that he was coerced to make the statements of bribery by the accused's opponent Mr Phillip Chiyangwa.

Moreover, Mrs Makwande said the defence argued that the State failed to prove the essential element of "agent".

"It argued that though the evidence shows that the delegates were voters, there is no evidence to prove that they were agents. It was not proved whose agents they were. It is submitted that section 169 of the Code does not give the State a blank cheque to call everyone an agent."

Mrs Makwande said considering those circumstances, the court could not safely conclude that the money which Kamambo deposited into the voters' accounts were gifts or considerations for them to vote for him at the ZIFA elections.

In any case, one would also think that given the number of expected voters, if Kamambo was bribing the voters, he would be expected to have paid more voters so that he would secure at least 50 percent of the vote.

Kamambo, in his defence case, told the court that he failed in the first round to obtain a clear victory.

He said he won after his opponent withdrew from contesting for the second round.

The State alleged that Kamambo paid US$ 8,310 to 25 delegates as bribes for them to vote for him.

As a result of the alleged inducements made by Kamambo on 16 December 2018, he received 35 votes against 24 votes received by Mr Chiyangwa.

Kamambo was represented by his lawyer Mr Admire Rubaya.

Source - The Herald
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