Saturday 12 February 2022


THE ongoing ZIFA saga took a new twist when the association’s suspended president Felton Kamambo and board member finance Philemon Machana were arrested yesterday for fraud.

The two were picked up by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and detained at Highlands Police Station.

They are expected to appear in court tomorrow.

Kamambo and Machana were reportedly scheduled to leave the country for Qatar for the FIFA Club World Cup jamboree.

Zimbabwe Republic Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrest.

“I can confirm that both Felton Kamambo and Philemon Machana have been arrested and are currently being detained at Highlands Police station.

“Several fraud allegations have been raised. I will be able reveal more information tomorrow (today) once I am in the office,’’ Asst Comm Nyathi said.

ZIFA lawyer Chenaimwoyo Gumiro alleged that the duo’s arrest was also related to their continued defiance of the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) suspension.

“Yes, they were arrested today (Saturday) in the morning. The charge is that of fraud; allegations being that they are executing ZIFA business whilst they are on suspension,’’ Gumiro said.

“The charges are similar for both of them.

“They are set to appear in court on Monday. As of now, they are detained in police cells at Highlands police.”

The SRC suspended the ZIFA board in terms of Section 30 of the SRC Act amid accusations that Kamambo’s leadership had, among other charges, abused Covid-19 relief funds from FIFA and failed to account for money availed by Government for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) campaign in Egypt.

There were also sexual harassment charges of female referees.

It is believed that Kamambo and Machana continued to use the official ZIFA letterhead in all correspondence to both local and international football bodies.

Following their suspension by the SRC, ZIFA board members reacted by barring councillors from executing their mandate.

They also slapped Premier Soccer League (PSL) chief executive officer Kenny Ndebele, ZIFA communications and competitions manager Xolisani Gwesela and the national teams’ general manager Wellington Mpandare with suspensions.

Dynamos chairperson Isaiah Mupfurutsa and his Highlanders counterpart Jonfat Sibanda, CAPS United vice president Nhamo Tutisani and Northern Region chair Martin Kweza were among those also handed with bans by the suspended ZIFA board.

Kamambo further appealed to FIFA to invoke sanctions citing alleged Government interference through the SRC.

The duo is separately alleged to have fraudulently used public funds as well as changing ZIFA accounts to evade authorities in a matter related to the US$740 000 that was transferred from the association’s account into a bank account that belongs to Machana’s company.

The matter is currently before the courts. Sunday Mail


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