Four Zifa Councillors Exonerate Kamambo

ZIFA councillors who voted during the elections that saw Felton Kamambo landing the top soccer administration post fingered Philip Chiyangwa, Kamambo’s opponent, for vote-buying efforts that ended up with Kamambo charged with bribery.

Councillors Masuku Ndodana, Andrew Tapera, Muhluli Thebe and Brenda Gorejena are said to have fingered Chiyangwa in the warned-and-cautioned statements they gave to the police.

This came up when Chiyangwa was being cross-examined by Kamambo’s lawyer, Advocate Tawanda Zhuwarara, during the bribery trial.

Kamambo is denying the charges.

Chiyangwa denied the allegations, telling the court that he never campaigned during the build up to the ZIFA elections and was ill at the time.

“That is a lie,” he said. “I did not campaign. I was sick and I can show my medical reports. I did not go around campaigning. After the information I gathered from his campaign manager, I then made the report against him (Kamambo).”

Chiyangwa told the court that he conceded defeat after going through the first round of elections.

He said he congratulated Kamambo after he won the elections.

Asked whether there were Fifa statutes barring those vying for positions from giving gifts during campaigns, Chiyangwa said the offence that Kamambo was charged with was emanating from the laws of the country.

“He is not being charged with Zifa codes, but Government rules,” he said.

“I could have reported to Fifa, but decided to report locally. It is not permitted in terms of Fifa and Zifa to pay or reimburse allowances.”

It is the State case that ahead of the December 2018 Zifa elections, Kamambo allegedly paid some of the association’s councillors through EcoCash. The money was allegedly deposited by Kamambo’s then campaign manager, Matoka, into the 32 Zifa councillors’ accounts.

The matter continues on January 6, 2021. Deputy chief magistrate Mrs Bianca Makwande presided, while Mr Michael Reza prosecuted.

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