ZIFA BRACE FOR LAWSUITS Rushwaya, Kasinauyo and Dube cleared
IN addition to problems emanating from the Premiership relegation impasse, Zifa should expect huge claims from Henrietta Rushwaya, Edzai Kasinauyo and Nation Dube who were acquitted of match-fixing charges at Harare’s regional court yesterday.
Zifa reported the trio to the police in May on allegations that Kasinauyo, then a Zifa board member, former chief executive officer Rushwaya and fired Warriors’ assistant coach Dube planned to fix the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
They were charged together with former Warriors’ coach Ian Gorowa and ex-player agent Kudzi Shaba.
Zifa went on to slap Kasinauyo and Gorowa with 10-year bans, with Dube whose club Hwange had been told to suspend him handed a five-year ban while Rushwaya got a life ban. Shaba was exonerated.
Rushwaya, Kasinauyo and Dube who maintained their innocence since the start of the saga were a relieved lot after regional magistrate Lucy Mungwari ruled in their favour, saying the State failed to prove a prima-facie case against the trio.
Mungwari who said there was no evidence linking the three to the Limpopogate scandal slammed the State and its witnesses for lack of seriousness.
Now that the matter has been concluded before the courts, the duo of Kasinauyo and Dube is contemplating on taking legal action against Zifa who laid false accusations and caused them loss of income. Kasinauyo said it will take him time to restore his reputation.
“At the moment I’m just enjoying the moment after some hard and trying times. I’ve always said I was innocent and the courts have proved that today. I’m yet to discuss the way forward with my legal team who will meet soon,” said Kasinauyo.
“You know if you’re dealing with legitimate people they’re not quick to judge and believe in one being innocent unless proven guilty, meaning that some of the people that I was dealing with were supportive throughout the hard times. However, because in business there are issues to do with trust, this matter messed up my reputation and trust but I’ll now have to work hard to regain that in business. In a couple of days I shall be in a position to tell you my next step,” Kasinauyo said.
He is on record saying he was going to challenge his 10-year ban from football, as he feels the process in which Zifa came up with the verdict was flawed.
After being slapped with a 10-year ban in June Kasinauyo said his constitutional rights to a fair trial were infringed as he was never called for a hearing.
“Surely, as a citizen of Zimbabwe, who abides and is protected by the constitution of the country, if I feel my rights have been infringed, it’s only logical that I act within the confines of the law. Proper procedures were not followed and they’re aware o f that,” said Kasinauyo.
Just like Kasinauyo, Dube felt hard done by Zifa.
In a telephone interview from Harare yesterday, Dube said: “To me it’s a wasted year. What is important is to get my life back again and I want to go back to work. You can imagine the damage that these unfounded claims have done to my career. I don’t want to fight, I just want to know that since the court has cleared me what then will happen to this ban that they gave me? I also used a lot of money travelling from Hwange to Harare for the case, there are also legal fees and issues to do with my upkeep while I was here in Harare which I have to discuss with my lawyers. Besides worrying about the monies that I lost and the damage done to my career. I’m happy this is over.” — @ ZililoR FORMER Zifa chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya, axed board member Edzai Kasinauyo and fired Warriors assistant coach Nation Dube were yesterday cleared of match-fixing by the magistrates’ court. Regional magistrate Lucy Mungwari said the State failed to prove a prima-facie case against the trio. She said there was no evidence linking the trio to the Limpopogate scandal. Ms Mungwari slammed the State and its witnesses for lack of seriousness. Rushwaya, Kasinauyo and Dube were found not guilty following their applications for discharge at the close of the State case. “This is a case which should have not seen the doors of this court. There was lack of seriousness on the part of both the State and the witnesses,” she said. “There is no iota of evidence linking the accused persons to the offence. The law is clear that where there is no evidence linking accused persons to an offence, the court has no discretion, it ought to acquit. “The State has not proved a prima-facie case and accordingly the accused persons are discharged and found not guilty,” she said. Mungwari further discredited testimonies. She said the State’s “star witness” Leeroy Waguta, who confessed to be a match-fixer and playing a role in the Swaziland games, should have been an accomplice. “Therefore, evidence of accomplices must be approached with extreme caution. He told the court that he could do anything for money. However, he left the court wondering what had motivated him to testify against the trio. “The court wonders if there were no unforeseen forces behind. Unfortunately, for the State, this was their star witness,” she said. Mungwari said she expected more from Warriors’ coach Callisto Pasuwa who failed to bring to court the text messages on which the case was built. “The court expected that he would bring t h e messages the witnesses’ which were forwarded to him by Waguta in which the alleged match-fixing scandal was being discussed. However, he professed ignorance and said he did not believe the messages and left every other question to the author of the messages, who is Waguta.
“He had nothing to offer to the State or incriminating evidence,” she said.
Mungwari said Maxwell Jongwe’s evidence had holes as well.
“He blew the matter out of proportion and went about different offices up to that of His Excellency. He was overzealous and even adopted investigating instructions and this ate into his credibility,” she said.
Mungwari said that Tatenda Mukuruva and Jonathan Mashingaidze’s testimonies were not incriminating. Mukuruva was too reluctant and could not wait to get off the witness stand.
The trio was represented by Simon Mupindu, Harrison Nkomo and Simon Simango.
The State alleged that in February this year, Rushwaya and her accomplices allegedly agreed to fix the Afcon qualifier matches between Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
The matches were scheduled for March 25 and 28 in Mbabane and Harare, respectively.
It was alleged that they agreed to offer bribes to Zimbabwe national soccer team players as an inducement to lose the games.
The State claimed Kasinauyo was tasked to put pressure on Pasuwa to prematurely announce the squad or leak the list of players to the syndicate and agreed to target three players – the goalkeeper and two defenders. The State was also alleging that Waguta alerted the coach about the plot to fix the matches.
Pasuwa, it was alleged, constantly received information from Waguta and at the same time Kasinauyo kept on pressuring him to release the list of players. As a result, Pasuwa could not contain the pressure and finally informed Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa.
Henrietta Rushwaya Edzai Kasinauyo Nation Dube