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Rushwaya bail

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Former Zifa chief executive officer Henrietta Rushwaya, who was arrested last week by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), yesterday appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court facing charges ranging from corruptly concealing a transaction to a principal, bribery to fraud.

She was not asked to plead when she appeared before Harare magistrate Anita Tshuma, who released her out of custody on $500 bail and remanded her to February 20.

She was represented by Dumisani Mthombeni. As part of her bail conditions, Rushwaya was ordered to report once per fortnight, to reside at the address she supplied to the police, to surrender her travel documents and not to interfere with investigations.

According to prosecutor Tapiwa Kasema, the former Zifa boss faces 11 counts of corruptly concealing a transaction from the Zifa Board and Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) during the time she was in charge of the football association.

It is alleged from July 2009 to July last year, Rushwaya, acting as a Zifa agent, in connivance with former Zifa programmes officer Jonathan Musavengana and a representative of Asian betting syndicates, Raja Wilson Perumal, allegedly organised and facilitated 11 unauthorised sporting tours.

The tours were allegedly organised for the Zimbabwe senior national soccer team and Monomotapa Football Club, who were eventually sent to Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Oman, Jordan, Bulgaria, China, Thailand and Yemen.

Rushwaya and her colleagues allegedly arranged that the full nature of the tours transactions should not be disclosed to the Zifa Board and the SRC.

Perumal allegedly funded all the trips, accommodation and allowances for all the participants without the knowledge and authorisation of the Zifa Board and the SRC.

Rushwaya is also charged with 15 counts of bribery after allegedly accepting $1 million to throw away each of the matches played in Asia, Europe and Africa.

It is alleged the cash paid was meant for herself, match officials, players, technical staff and media personnel.

The ACC, which investigated the case, says witnesses would state they received clear instructions to concede goals at given intervals during the course of the matches.

As regards the issue of fraud, it is alleged sometime in 2009, Rushwaya arranged matches between the Zimbabwe senior national team and Malaysia national team which were not approved by the Zifa Board and the SRC.

It is alleged Rushwaya sent Monomotapa Football Club to play two matches in Malaysia masquerading as the Zimbabwe Warriors. This was after arrangements had been made that all the expenses were to be paid in Malaysia.

According to the SRC, cited as the complainant in the matter, the alleged misrepresentations by Rushwaya caused prejudice to the reputation and good administration of its office and Zifa Board.

As part of the evidence linking Rushwaya to the offence, the ACC said it was in possession of correspondences between Rushwaya and foreign football associations where the senior national team participated.

The ACC also said it was in possession of correspondences between Rushwaya and Perumal together with various documents that Rushwaya allegedly wrote to her subordinates on the subject.

Statements have also been recorded from football players and match officials and the State intends to call at least 104 witnesses.

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