ZIFA’s special appeals committee on the Asiagate match-fixing scandal yesterday concluded hearing the appeal cases of Caps United coach Taurai Mangwiro and former Shabanie Mine coach Luke Masomere.
Report by Tawanda Tafirenyika
The appeals committee, chaired by Silas Chekera, heard the appeal cases of all the appellants who had paid their appeals fee, but only Mangwiro and Masomere’s cases were concluded with the rest being postponed to next month.
Zifa lawyer Ralph Maganga said yesterday all those who appealed against the sanctions after they were banned from football for their alleged roles in the Asiagate match-fixing scandal between 2007 and 2009 attended the hearings with some of them represented by their lawyers.
Bidvest Wits University defender Thomas Sweswe appeared at the hearing with his lawyer, while Sunday Chidzambwa was represented by his attorney.
Maganga, however, said the reasons for the postponement of the rest of the cases was due to short notice given to the appellants and absence of record of proceedings.
“All the appeal cases were heard today (yesterday). But only two cases were dealt with. Luke Masomere and Taurai Mangwiro’s cases have been concluded. The rest have been postponed to next month,” Maganga said.
The Zifa lawyer said they were now waiting for the appeals committee to make a determination on the cases of Masomere and Mangwiro through the Zifa office.
“We are now waiting for the appeals committee to make a determination on the two. It will be done through the Zifa office,” Maganga added.
Lawyers representing Sweswe and Sunday Chidzambwa — Edward Nathan Sonnenburgs, a South African law firm — questioned the time frame given by the appeals committee to conduct the hearings.
They argued that the summons to their clients were sent at short notice and, therefore, it was impossible for them to come to the hearings.
The latest developments come as good news to Caps United and Shabanie Mine who have been waiting anxiously for the conclusion of the cases of their coaches.
Caps United have entrusted goalkeepers’ coach Brenna Msiska to take charge of the team in the absence of Mangwiro, while Shabanie are under Anold Jani.
Should Mangwiro be exonerated, he will resume his duties as he still had a running contract with the team at the time of his banishment from football, while Masomere, whose contract with Shabanie had already run out, could also be re-engaged.