HomeSportSoccerThe accused and the accusers

The accused and the accusers

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Once the Asiagate scam was leaked during the week, the reactions from those accused of having had a hand in the match-fixing allegations were, to say, the least quite predictable.

A whole range of officials have denied they said the exact words in the report — from former Zifa board president Wellington Nyatanga, former Premier Soccer League fixtures secretary Godfrey Japajapa to player Nyasha Mushekwi and Fifa registered-agent Kudzi Shaba.

Former Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa, medical doctor Modecai Sachikonye, former Zifa chief executive officer Henrietta Rushwaya and former marketing officer Harry Taruva are seeking legal advice with a view to suing the investigating committee.

The committee is chaired by Zifa vice-president Ndumiso Gumede and has board members Elliot Kasu (finance), Benedict Moyo (competitions) and Eastern Region boss Fungai Chihuri.

Chihuri was in the past board led by Nyatanga and should have recused himself like his fellow board member Methembe Ndlovu since the match-fixing allegations took place when he was in office, until his re-election last year.

Ndlovu travelled with some of the teams and did the most professional thing by not being part of the committee.

Rewind back to December 19 2009, when Japajapa made a recommendation that the trips be stopped as they were not benefiting the national association.

Now that has come back to haunt him because he stands accused of having said some things in his submissions, which he claims he did not say.

He has produced documents to show that he stayed 22 days as head of delegation in Malaysia during the Merdeka Cup and got $100 per day, bringing the total to $2 200.

This is in sharp contrast to the manager at the same games Ernest Sibanda, who signed for the same amount, but in his interview claims he got $8 000.

Emotions are obviously running high everywhere to such an extent that all insults are being hurled at Gumede as an individual and not the committee.

While there are obvious errors and omissions in the report, to attribute them to an individual defeats the whole purpose.

The very fact that the document was leaked to one organisation — not a complainant as in this day of competition you cannot get all the stories — there might have been intention on the part of the person who released the document.

Soon people might be forced to look beyond the four man committee and perhaps at other members in the new Zifa board.

Legally, the experts will say, the interviews should have been under oath and only the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), which is a legally constituted body, can administer any form of justice in this investigation.

In an interview on Wednesday, Rushwaya and her lawyer Selby Hwacha had common words: “If you do not have evidence, then you should shut up forever.”

Perhaps, it’s now time for Gumede and his committee to wash their hands off the report and wait, perhaps for a mountain of lawsuits, and for Dube, the Zifa president, to advise the nation on what next after this document.

Remember, a Fifa investigating team is still expected in the country and already have the document with them and that will be the best class of people to give Zifa direction on this or to simply tell them, again, to shut up forever!

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