Nyoni judgment postponed

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Judgment in the defamation case of Zifas star witness in the Centralgate scandal Cosmas Nyoni has been postponed to January 31 to allow Bulawayo magistrate Sophie Matimba to go through the defence and States final submissions, which she received late on Wednesday.

Suspended Southern Region Zifa Referees Committee representative Nyoni allegedly defamed Gift Banda, the suspended Zifa Southern Region chairman in the media and prosecutor Robin Mukura yesterday said the case had been deferred to give the court time to peruse the court record before delivering judgment.

The judgment has been deferred to January 31. The magistrate received the defence and State submissions late yesterday (Wednesday). She needs time to go through the record and the submissions, Mukura said.

In his initial appearance before Matimba, the former referee declared the statement he made to the media was true and was not defamatory.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge of criminal defamation.

Nyoni is out of custody of his own cognisance.
Mukura told the court between November 30 last year and December 3, Nyoni supplied information to the Press to the effect he was summoned by Banda to his office after failing to deliver results from Central Region League due to match-fixing.

He said Banda never met Nyoni over the games which were played on October 10.

It is alleged the story was published in the public media on December 3 under the headline Banda lied Cosmas Nyoni.

The Centralgate match-fixing scam has claimed the scalps of Banda and Zifa Central Region chairman Patrick Hokonya, who have been suspended from the football mother body stemming from the allegations.

However, Hokonya has since sought Fifas intervention through his lawyers arguing his suspension was unconstitutional as he was supposed to appear before a disciplinary committee 14 days after he was suspended.

Banda and Hokonya were suspended during a fiery board meeting on December 8 last year.
Hokonyas lawyers said their client, would be resuming duty last Monday, but Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze would have none of that and said the two will be notified of their hearing after investigations had been completed.