ZIFA BRACE FOR LAW­SUITS Rush­waya, Kasin­auyo and Dube cleared

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo Tendai Ru­papa

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

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