Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
FORMER Zimbabwe international Lazarus Muhoni, who is under the spotlight after being implicated in a player transfer scandal, has stepped down from his position as Manica Diamonds executive member.
Muhoni, who was responsible for development, yesterday announced he was stepping down, just two days after he was suspended by the club following allegations of corruption.
The 42-year-old was suspended this week alongside team manager Lloyd Chinawa following reports the duo allegedly inflated signing-on fees and demanded kickbacks from the club’s new signings.
The club’s principal sponsors – Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company – have since launched investigations into the allegations and appointed a committee headed by the club’s founding chairman, Newton Demba.
“I think this issue had started to have a negative impact on my family,” said Muhoni.
“So, we sat down to talk about it and after wide consultations I decided to step down from my post for the good of the game and for the good of my family.”
“But, I would also want to assure the investigating team that I will always be available if they want any information from me.
“I have so much respect for the ZCDC board, the sponsors of the team, and the club’s management including vice-chairman Lavet Wadawareva, Lloyd Chinawa and our secretary-general Sugar Chagonda.
“They are very professional people and I hope one day to work with them again when the truth has come out. For now, I will take a break.”
The former midfielder has hit back by making counter-accusations against the team coach Luke Masomere and the club chairman Masimba Chihowa.
There are genuine fears the club and their sponsors could have been defrauded of thousands of dollars.
Muhoni also claimed Masomere and club chairman Chihowa may have been involved in the illicit transfer deals and were plotting to get rid of him to cover their tracks.
“The investigations should be allowed to take place as scheduled although I still have some big questions on why the coach was also not suspended when his name has been implicated in this matter,’’ said Muhoni.
“It’s possible he will interfere with the witnesses. So, in the spirit of fairness, he should also be asked to stand aside to allow the smooth flowing of the investigations.’’