Suspects in the latest football match-fixing scam, which is alleged to have targeted the Warriors’ Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) 2017 qualifiers against Swaziland among other matches, will be summoned for hearings starting this weekend.
by Kevin Mapasure
Zifa believe they have overwhelming evidence against the suspects so much that the process will be easily concucled.
The soccer mother body will conduct the processes for these allegations in a different manner than was done in the Asiagate scandal during the previous Zifa board’s tenure.
Unlike in the Asiagate scandal, Zifa will be guided by their statutes and the matter will be handled through the supreme body’s disciplinary processes.
The disciplinary committee has already started despatching invitations to some of the suspects for them to appear for a hearing.
They will be given time and space to defend themselves and will also get an opportunity to cross-examine Zifa’s witnesses.
Former Zifa chief executive officer Henrietta Rushwaya, former Warriors coach Ian Gorowa, the mother body’s executive committee member Edzai Kasinauyo and Zimbabwe senior national team assistant coach Nation Dube are some of the prominent suspects in an alleged plan to manipulate the outcome of the Afcon qualifiers against Swaziland next week.
Last week, Zifa hosted a South African Football Association (Safa) delegation, where they shared some of the evidence gathered to date.
Safa is conducting its own investigations since there are allegations that some of the South African Premier Soccer League matches might have been fixed and they will share with Zifa what is relevant to Zimbabwe.
Those players implicated in fixing matches in South Africa face disciplinary action in that country if found guilty, but the punitive measures effected would have a global effect unlike in the Asiagate case, where flaws in the process saw some of them escape.
It’s possible some suspects might have to go for hearings in both countries if they are implicated as having tried to or fixed matches in both Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Players and officials implicated in the latest scam, who are alleged to have participated in the Asiagate scandal, will have to answer to both charges.
Rushwaya, who has claimed she was part of a Fifa investigation into match-fixing, is one of those who will have to answer to the Asiagate charges as well as the latest scam.
Fifa officials are expected in the country this week, where they will be apprised of the matter.
A police report was made last week, but Zifa hope to have closed the case ahead of the criminal proceedings.
The Zimbabwean and South African governments are also working with Zifa, Safa and Fifa in the matter.
Zifa contend that they never closed the Asiagate case, but because of flaws in the manner it was conducted, the bans had no effect since Fifa had not endorsed them.
The mother body can still correct the flaws by redoing the process with the disciplinary committee presiding over the matter.
Kasinauyo last week demanded that he be presented with the evidence that Zifa claim to have against him, but he will have his day at the weekend.