Mwanjali, Zhokinyi curse

FORMER Warriors captain Method Mwanjali and Dynamos skipper Guthrie Zhokinyi were initially given 10-year bans from all football-related activities, but the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) upgraded their status to life prohibitions, NewsDay Sport can reveal.

Report by Daniel Nhakaniso

The duo are part of the 15 players and officials who were last week banned for life from all football-related activities for their alleged role in the match-fixing scam during the national team’s controversial tours to Asia in 2009.

The bans are expected to have a worldwide effect, once enforced by world football governing body Fifa and the Confederation of African Football.

According to the 128-page report by the Ebrahim Commission, titled Asiagate Report, dated October 11, 2012, the Independent Ethics Committee chaired by retired Supreme Court judge Justice Ahmed Ebrahim had recommended 10-year bans for Mwanjali and Zhokinyi.

Zhokinyi, who was left out of the Dynamos squad for their Mbada Diamonds Cup quarter-final at the weekend, captained the national side that took part at the 2009 Cecafa tournament in Kenya where some matches are alleged to have been fixed.

He was found guilty in respect of that particular tournament.
The commission noted that he was instrumental in negotiations about money to be paid and recommended a 10-year ban.

But Zifa slapped a life ban on the defender when finalising the sentences.

“He was the captain at the Cecafa tournament and was instrumental in negotiations about money to be received, about which he was truthful. He rallied his troops in the wrong direction. Although he has been found guilty in respect of only one tournament, as captain he ought to have known better.

“His moral blameworthiness is high and he deserves to be out of football for a long time. We recommend a ten-year ban on taking part in any football-related activity,” read Zhokinyi’s recommended verdict.

Mwanjali, whose future at South African club Mamelodi Sundowns is now in jeopardy following the bans, was also a victim of Zifa’s “upgrading” system.

The utility player recently said he was being used as a scapegoat in the Asiagate match-fixing scandal.

According to the document, the former Shabanie Mine and Caps United defender captained the national side in Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia.

In passing their recommended judgment, the commission said they had taken into consideration Mwanjali’s contribution to local football.

“He was in Vietnam and he was the captain in Thailand and Malaysia for the ‘holiday’ tour, but he did not effectively play the role as captain. In his favour is the fact that he has contributed immensely to Zimbabwean football. Having been involved in two fixed tours, we consider that he should be out of football for a long time. We recommend a ten-year ban on taking part in any football-related activity,” read the report.

Mwanjali and Zhokinyi were not the only players whose recommended judgments were changed by Zifa for better or for worse.

The committee had recommended a life ban for Democratic Republic of Congo-based striker Darryl Nyandoro before Zifa reduced his sentence to just five years. The committee described the former Monomotapa defender as a “habitual offender” who deserved a life ban.

“He has no part in Zimbabwe football. He took part in the Monomotapa tours of Malaysia and Tunisia and then the Cecafa tournament in Kenya. Like Sweswe (Thomas), he became a habitual offender. We recommend a life ban from taking part in any football-related activity,” read the recommendation.

Sundowns striker Nyasha Mushekwi got a lighter sentence of one year for travelling to Malaysia because “he was very young at the time he participated in the ‘holiday’ tour.

“He feigned injury to be able to withdraw from the match, and this is to his credit. He did, however, accept payment of money which was not due”.

Suspended Warriors coach Norman Mapeza got a six-month ban because “he dissociated himself from the scam, but allowed other players to participate. He should have shown more leadership”.

It also emerged in the official report that fingered referees Cosmas Nyoni, Christopher Manuel, Masimba Chihowa and Kenny Marange were absolved by the Ebrahim Commission on the grounds that “we can make no findings against referees”.

But the four referees were not among the list which was publicised by Zifa last week, implying that they might be “upgraded”.

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  1. The twists and turns of ZIFA can be smelt strongly now

    1. its a big suprise when an interim report is used to suspend a lot of people without finalising it first. First and foremost, does the Zifa constitution state that the board should work as a disciplinary committee. Secondly, isn’t zifa the complainant here. then should they be the judges. Thirdly does the zifa board has any experience in the metting out of justice. Its my genuine belief that the answer to the third question is a big no. also I feel that whatever the players did, in accepting bribes to fix the matches can be attributed to undue influence. Playing for the national team is a priviledge granted to the player by the coaches. It therefore entails that any player should dance to the tune of the coach, failure to do so will leave the player stranded, Ovidy karuru is a case in point.

      1. Fifa gave them the authority boss

  2. Ah vakomana mandinyadzisa!

  3. This will come back to haunt ZIFA, if these guys appeal and win this case then I will assure you ZIFA will be left penniless.

  4. This is clean lesson to the ZIFA management. Our players deserve decent pay like other footballers in Africa, not going far to world wide.All these match fixing issues are a result poor remunerations. ZIFA management munofamba ne top of range cars and live in luxuarious houses at the expense of our players. Mamatch fixing achatowanda chaizvo muno muZimbabwe.Analyse The Angola-Zimbabwe match!! Food for thought!!

  5. vusumuzi ndlovu

    truly speaking as Zimbaweans we are being unfair on our selves.Here we are saying corruption has destryed our once beautiful country..and then we contradict ourselves and say ZIFA must pardon the corrupt.I dont care if ZIFA themselves are corrupt.The fact is we have to eradicate any form of corruptuion in this country,be it in football or politics or in church for that matter.Mwanjali and crew are a national disgrace and they must face the music.It doesnt matter now that they have done a lot for soccer in the country.A thief is a thief even if he donates his income to the poor.I dont see why they sholud be pardoned when other people who stael and bribe are arrestes by police and taken to court and eventually to jail.Football has iots own laws and according to football law,these guys must be banned period

    1. You clearly or openly found that Mapeza got no bribe but coz makagara makamumaka,you found a better way to convince Dube you were correct when you were blocking him from National coach post. We read it,Dube rescled with you guys for Norman to be national team coach,him for his qualifications,experience and discipline. Rhaman failed us at the at the last hour but you just keep quiet. Guys don’t kill our game like that. With Norman, we should be there in South. Some of you guys treasure in our National team’s failure,musadaro guys

  6. dube imboko coz why having grudge with mapeza and then cost zimbabwe not to go even to south africa padyo panoendwa nebhazi chaipo

  7. better kusapota zvedu zambia isu vekumalawi

  8. when is Dube ‘s contract ending.We
    no longer want to see him as ZIFA ‘s boss.

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