CHITUNGWIZA regional magistrate Estere Chivasa yesterday acquitted former Zifa chief executive officer Henrietta Rushwaya, who was facing charges of failing to disclose to Zifa trips embarked by the senior man’s national soccer team abroad.
The case gained national infamy and had been dubbed “the Asiagate scandal”.
The former Zifa boss was last year arrested and charged for her alleged failure to disclose to her principal (Zifa) the full nature of transactions pertaining to games played by the Zimbabwe national team abroad.
Chivasa said the State had failed to prove a prima facie case against Rushwaya so as to warrant the court to place her on her defence.
Rushwaya, who was represented by Charles Chinyama, applied for discharge at the close of the State case, arguing that the State had failed to prove that she acted contrary to Zifa’s constitution.
“In terms of the Zifa constitution, the person who was in charge was (former Zifa president) Wellington Nyatanga and from the evidence led in court, he was aware of each of the transactions carried out by the accused,” Chivasa said.
“Accused (Rushwaya), therefore, cannot be found guilty for failing to disclose a transaction to a principal,” she added.
The magistrate further said evidence was led in court that at some point, Nyatanga would sanction the national team’s overseas trips despite being out of the country.
Allegations against Rushwaya were that while she was in office, she failed to disclose to Zifa unsanctioned games played by the Warriors in Oman, Bahrain, Jordan, Malaysia, Bulgaria, China and Thailand.
Rushwaya pleaded not guilty to all nine counts, arguing that the matter was purely a labour dispute and not criminal.
The State was represented by Oliver Marwa and Sidom Chinzete.