Damning evidence in Asiagate trial

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Henrietta-Rushwaya

FORMER Young Warriors team manager Bekithemba Ndlovu yesterday exonerated former Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) chief executive officer Henrietta Rushwaya from the Asiagate match-fixing scandal by taking responsibility for the team’s unsanctioned trip to Bulgaria in 2009.

Report by Phillip Chidavaenzi

Ndlovu told Chitungwiza magistrate Estere Chivasa that former Zifa programmes manager Jonathan Musavengana instructed him to embark on the trip with the team.

He said officials and players were paid $1 000 and $400 each by some foreigners to throw away the match.

Ndlovu said upon arrival in Bulgaria, he was called into Sunday Chidzambwa’s hotel room where he met two Asian men. Chidzambwa was team coach.

He said the men stressed to him that the team was not in Bulgaria for a holiday, but to make money for themselves by conceding a goal within 20 minutes.

Ndlovu said when the team performed dismally the two men expressed concern that Zimbabwe was not playing according to instructions.
Ndlovu said Rushwaya had remained behind in Harare and did not play any role in the tournament since Musavengana facilitated all the paper work.

He added that he did not know why Rushwaya was in the dock when she did not have a hand in the trip.

Under cross examination from Rushwaya’s lawyer Witness Chinyama, Ndlovu confirmed receiving money from the Asians saying he pocketed it without receiving instructions from anyone.

He also confirmed he was instructed to tell the players to let in goals for a fee and that he did not disclose that information upon the team’s return home.

Former senior national team coach Luke Masomere, who also testified yesterday, alleged he was authorised by Zifa, represented by Rushwaya, to travel with the senior national team to Vietnam.

He said he was promised a $9 000 allowance by Rushwaya and a further
$10 000 from the Asian officials if the team lost by a 4-0 margin.

Masomere said he later leaked the story to The Chronicle because the promises were not fulfilled.

He said he never pursued the $9 000 after realising that Zifa was struggling to pay player allowances.

Under cross-examination, he confirmed the $10 000 was a bribe, adding he did not know who paid their hotel bills.

He rejected Chinyama’s assertions that he fabricated the story because he was disgruntled after he did not receive the promised money saying he had been living comfortably in Botswana.

The trial will continue next Tuesday when Tourism minister Walter Mzembi is expected to testify.

9 COMMENTS

  1. I can’t see where Rushwaya is being exonerated. It is Bekithemba’s account though. But statement from another witness did still put her uner spotlight.

  2. Real football is administered by former of proffesional footballers not what see in our country until we improve in this area may be we mighty start talking someting sensible. This leaders that we have running football in our motherland Zimbabwe are all mesinaries geared to enrich themselves. This is a mouse game targeted at out doing each other to settle different personalities.

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