Friday, 17 December 2021

BRIBERY : ZIFA COUNCILLORS CLEARED

SIX Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) councillors who participated in the December 16, 2018 elections and allegedly received bribes to elect Felton Kamambo to the post of ZIFA president, were yesterday cleared after the court was satisfied with their testimonies.

Nkosilathi Ncube, Rogers Masuku, Patrick Hill, Francis Ntuta, Andrew Tapela and Stanselous Runyararo Nyachowa, were spared from facing bribery charges after Deputy Chief Magistrate Mrs Bianca Makwande said they gave satisfactory evidence when they all testified as accomplice witnesses in Kamambo’s bribery trial.

The State led by Mr Oscar Madhume did not object to the absolvent of the six after also being satisfied by their testimonies.

First to testify was Ncube who admitted to receiving $100 through Ecocash from Kamambo saying it was a reimbursement for expenses he used when he attended the launch of his manifesto.

“I participated in the elections as a councillor from the Southern region,” said Ncube.

“I received the money as reimbursement after attending his meeting. I think it was $100 sent through Ecocash.

“The money was for transport and food for his campaign meeting held in Gweru. The money was not for voting for him (Kamambo).”

Ncube told the court that Kamambo acted in the same manner as others who were campaigning for the same post.

Masuku, who is from the Central region, said he met Kamambo in Bulawayo when he wanted to launch his manifesto.

He told the court that he also received various amounts from those who were vying for the position during the build-up to the ZIFA elections.

“I voted as a councillor. I met him (Kamambo) in Bulawayo where he was launching his manifesto. I received Ecocash from him before elections.

“It was not a bribe but a reimbursement for money we used as transport and food. There were a lot of people who wanted us to vote for them and those candidates would reimburse us upon attending their meetings,” he said.

Masuku said most candidates would call them to Omega Sibanda’s pub in Bulawayo for meetings during the campaign period.

Patrick Hill, from the Central region, told the court that he received $80 from Kamambo for the fuel he had used to travel to attend his manifesto launch.

He said Kamambo voluntarily offered to reimburse the fuel after he told him that his car had a full tank.

“I received $80 through Ecocash on December 12, 2018. It was for fuel. When I met him, I told him that I had a full tank and he offered to pay back for the fuel I used.

“He told me to buy some goodies for my families from the remaining money after buying fuel,” he said.

Hill told the court that Kamambo never talked of bribing him into power.

“He spoke of how he intended to run the sports association, develop junior football and women football,” he said.

Ntuta, the Bulawayo provincial chairman, told the court that he received $300 through Ecocash from Kamambo.

He told the court that he was never bribed to vote Kamambo into power.

Tapela, Southern region chairman, also got $300 from Kamambo and various amounts from other contestants except Gift Banda.

Nyachowe, from the Northern region, said he received $400 Ecocash in June 2018. He denied ever receiving the money as a bribe.

Atwell Moyo failed to testify after he attended court wearing a T-Shirt and a pair of jean trousers, which is not allowed. People are expected to be formally dressed when attending court.

Advocate Tawanda Zhuwarara represented Kamambo. The matter continues on January 6 next year.

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