ZIFA president, Felton Kamambo, yesterday appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Court to answer charges of allegedly bribing councillors to vote for him in the 2018 elections.
He was not asked to plead when he appeared before magistrate Richard Ramaboa, who remanded him out of custody to September 14.
His lawyer, Chenaimoyo Gumiro, requested the State to furnish him with all the necessary documents to help him prepare his defence.
Former ZIFA president, Philip Chiyangwa, the man Kamambo beat to become the leader of domestic football, is the complainant in the case.
Kamambo won the poll after getting 35 votes with the then ZIFA boss, Philip Chiyangwa, getting 24.
It is the State case that, ahead of the ZIFA elections, Kamambo — or those representing his campaign team — allegedly paid the association’s councillors using the Ecocash payment platform.
It is alleged the money was meant to try and induce the councillors to vote for him.
The allegations are that Kamambo’s campaign manager, Robert Matoka, through his Ecocash platform, allegedly transferred various amounts to the councillors.
These councillors, who vote in the ZIFA elections, included:
The late Northern Region Division One chairperson Willard Manyengavana, who received $210
Francis Ntuta $300
Mehluli Thebe $300
Artwell Moyo $250
Artwell Moyo $50
Beaular Msarah $300
Dennis Tshuma $300
Kudakwashe Chisango $500
Kudakwashe Remba $300
Ropafadzo Matemavi $200.
Thomas Marambanyika ($300)
Stanley Chapeta ($300)
Pervious Mathe ($300)
Patrick Hill ($80)
Nkosilathi Ncube ($300)
Doubt Ncube ($300)
Pithias Shoko, who got $50, $200, $50, $400 allegedly also received the hush payments.
One of the ZIFA councillors, accused of receiving the hush money broke his silence in June and said the funds he received were not a bribe, but a reimbursement for his expenses.
Hwange-based ZIFA Southern Region member, Mehluli Thebe, told our sister newspaper, Chronicle, he received $300, through the EcoCash platform, from Matoka two weeks before the elections.
The money, he said, was for him to travel to Bulawayo to hear Kamambo speak about why he should be voted the next ZIFA boss.
The ZIFA boss is the latest high—profile football personality who has been making headlines, from the courts, in cases spread from Harare to the Greek island of Mykonos and from Manchester to the Paraguayan capital of Asuncion.
Premier Soccer League boss, Farai Jere, who was arrested in Harare on Friday, again appeared before Harare magistrate Lazini Ncube yesterday, as he fights for bail.
He is being charged alongside two Zesa engineers over the supply of electricity meters, and related equipment, worth US$3 566 878 by his company.
The State is alleging Jere, who is also the CAPS United president, allegedly falsified documents to win the contract.
Jere, who is the majority shareholder at CAPS United, said in his bail application that allegations his company, Helcraw Electricals, supplied defective electricity meters were “cooked” in a bid to elbow the company out of the project.
A ruling on his bail application is expected today.
On Monday, former Brazil superstar Ronaldinho, was released by a Paraguayan judge, after five months in detention, over a forged passport.
Judge Gustavo Amarilla also released Ronaldinho’s brother, Roberto de Assis Moreira, who also had been held for a month in jail, and another four months under house arrest in a hotel in Asuncion, for the same charge.
The 40-year-old former World Cup winner “is free to travel to whatever country in the world he wants but he must inform us if he changes his permanent residence’ for a period of one year,’’ the judge said.
“He has no restrictions except for the fulfilment of reparations for damage to society.’’
Dressed in jeans, a black beret and black shirt, Ronaldinho accepted the terms of his release, which include payment of US$90,000 damages.
His brother, who is also Ronaldinho’s business manager, must pay US$110,000.
The pair are also expected to appear before a judge in Brazil every three months – Ronaldinho for a year and his brother for two.
Amarilla accepted a recommendation by four prosecutors to avoid the need for an oral trial.
Prosecutors did not believe Ronaldinho took part in the plan to manufacture the fake Paraguayan passports but believed de Assis Moreira was aware that the passports were false.
While Ronaldinho finally tasted freedom yesterday, Manchester United captain, Harry Maguire, is in serious trouble after he was convicted of all charges, following a brawl at the Greek island of Mykonos.
The 27-year-old, who could lose his Manchester United captaincy, was withdrawn from the England national football team, after his conviction.
The lawyer for the two Greek policemen, who were involved in the case, said the footballer should “hang his head in shame.’’
Maguire was found guilty of assaulting police, verbal abuse, and attempted bribery after the alleged fight last Friday.
He said he would appeal.
“Following the hearing today, I have instructed my legal team with immediate effect to inform the courts we will be appealing,’’ said Maguire.
“I remain strong and confident regarding our innocence in this matter — if anything myself, family and friends are the victims.’’
Ioannis Paradissis, lawyer for two of the six policemen involved in the case told MailOnline Maguire is a “disgrace’’ and has “invented a pack of lies and has not had the decency to apologise.
“He has insulted our police officers and he and his friends left three of them injured. They had to be taken to hospital and were brutally beaten by Maguire, his brother Joe and their friend.
“Maguire and his friends then invented a story about Albanians attacking his sister.
“I’ve never heard such rubbish. This was a shameful attempt to cover up their disgusting behaviour and an insult to Albanians and the Greek police.
“Maguire is a role model, he should hang his head in shame and return to Greece to apologise.’’
Maguire’s brother Joe was also found guilty of assault, attacking police and attempted bribery while a third man, 29-year-old Christopher Sharman, was guilty of two assault charges and another of verbal abuse.
All three had denied the charges based on the evidence of four policemen. — Sports Reporter/Mailonline/AP.