TOURISM and Hospitality Industry minister Walter Mzembi allegedly arranged one of the Warriors’ Asian trips.
Giving evidence in the trial of ex-Zifa chief excutive officer Henrietta Rushwaya yesterday, former Zifa board member Mwandibhuya Mutepfa implicated Muzembi in the Asiagate scandal.
Mutepfa said Mzembi had reportedly arranged one of the Asian trips for the Warriors and imposed a head of delegation for the trip.
“I asked Wellington Nyatanga (former Zifa president), who is an uncle figure to me, why we were being told what to do by the minister and he simply said he could not control it,” Mutepfa said.
He also told the court that Rushwaya was a political appointee at Zifa, resulting in other board members fearing to question her decisions for fear of offending her political masters.
Mutepfa told regional magistrate Estere Chivasa that the Zifa board came to know of the Asian trips through the Press when the national team was reported to have performed badly.
His evidence, however contradicted former Zifa vice-president Tendai Madzorera’s on the question of Rushwaya’s reporting structure. While giving evidence, Madzorera had told the court that Rushwaya would report to Nyatanga to whom she failed to disclose the nature of the Asian trips hence the charges levelled against her.
But Mutepfa said Rushwaya would report to the Zifa vice-president Madzorera, who would then advise Nyatanga on any matters concerning the national team’s friendly matches. Mutepfa said it was Madzorera’s responsibility to arrange all the national teams’ matches, contrary to what Nyatanga and Madzorera had said.
As the trial progressed, Rushwaya’s lawyer, Charles Chinyama accused the former Zifa bosses of using Rushwaya like a pawn in a game of chess. Chinyama produced Zifa’s correspondence with one Wilson Raj Perumal claiming that before Rushwaya was appointed to head Zifa, Nyatanga and Madzorera invited and dined with him in Zimbabwe.
“You should have told her that you were making money, but you used her like a pawn in a game of chess to make money from Raj. You now seek to find favours from Cuthbert Dube yet you brought Asiagate to Zimbabwe,” Chinyama said while inviting a comment from Madzorera who answered in the negative. Prosecutors Sidom Chinzete and Oliver Marwa are representing the State as the trial continues today.