February 16, 2023


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Blessing Masakadza

SUSPENDED Zimbabwe Football Association executives Felton Kamambo, Philemon Machana, Stanley Chapeta, Joseph Mamutse and Bryton Malandule have denied allegations of using a ZIFA letter head while they were on suspension.

The five are being charged with fraud, an allegation they believe is a fabrication and based on a personal vendetta.

The trial opened this morning before regional magistrate Taurai Manuwere with the five through their lawyer Admire Rubaya tendering their defence to the allegations.

The State opened the case by leading the first witness who is Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) acting director general Sebastian Garikai.

The five argue that the SRC board chair Gerald Mlothswa has a grudge with Machana for causing his arrest in 2004 and an abuse of the justice delivery system.

“The accused persons assert that this case is a clear case of abuse of the criminal justice system by members of the SRC board who have been misinforming the political leadership of the republic as well as the general populace.

“They further assert that the SRC board chair has a vendetta against the second accused person for causing his arrest sometime around 2004 when the second accused was still an accountant for the company which complained against the SRC board chairperson,” their defence outline read.

The five argue that their suspension is of no effect as it is not recognized by FIFA and CAF and has caused the suspension of the country’s football and reducing the local league to a boozers’ tournament.

“The alleged suspension of the accused persons by the SRC is null and void and has not been accepted by football mother body, FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (CAF). “This has resulted in Zimbabwe being suspended from playing international football rendering the local premier league just a boozer’s league where winner of the local Premier Soccer League cannot play in the CAF champions league, CAF Confederations cup whilst the National teams cannot participate in the COSAFA tournament, CHAN tournament, Africa cup of nations and the world cup,” he argued.

It is also their argument that the move by SRC is a diversionary tactic to have the nation banned on the guise of interference yet the reason is lack of proper infrastructure.

“The Accused persons assert that the SRC has concocted these allegations simply because they want the country to be banned from playing football on the basis of interfering with the ZIFA administration instead of being banned on the basis of the lack of proper stadiums in the country.

“The SRC board wants to use these allegations as a diversionary tactic so that they can save face that there is virtually no infrastructure or stadia which meets the FIFA standards,” their lawyer said.


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