The Attorney-General(AG)’s Office has withdrawn six charges against former Zifa chief executive officer Henrietta Rushwaya, who was facing criminal cases ranging from corruption and bribery to fraud.
Rushwaya is now expected to stand trial on June 17 on a charge of corruptly concealing a trip to a principal to Malaysia.
Yesterday, Rushwaya was all smiles as she walked out of Harare Magistrates Court in the company of her lawyer Jonathan Samkange, only to be welcomed by a group of protestors from Warriors Friends Club (WFC), waving placards.
One of the placard-waving protestors who declined to be identified said the protest was against failure by the State to prosecute Rushwaya.
The AG’s representative, Area Public Prosecutor Jonathan Murombedzi and Rushwaya’s lawyer together with the officers from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), agreed in Harare Magistrate Anita Tshuma’s chambers to withdraw the charges after the State failed to secure witnesses.
“We have always said we wanted to give the ACC a long rope to hang itself. We initially said the ACC should have investigated the matter and come to court with facts,” Samkange told journalist after emerging from the court house.
“We have agreed to go to trial on one count of concealing a trip to the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC). The State has withdrawn six other counts which were more serious than this one because of lack of evidence.”
Rushwaya was arrested early this year and was released out of custody on $500 bail.
According to the State, the former Zifa boss corruptly concealed a transaction from the Zifa Board and SRC during the time she was in charge of the 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 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.