HomeSportZifa bosses seek acquittal

Zifa bosses seek acquittal

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By Desmond Chingarande

The four Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) bosses accused of fraud after they allegedly transferred money held in the association’s bank account after it had been garnished, want the charges dropped.

Zifa president Felton Kamambo, his deputy Philimon Machana as well as board members Farai Jere and Bryton Briton Malandule yesterday appeared before Harare magistrate Stanford Mambanje charged with fraud.

They requested the State to furnish them with a garnishee order that they allegedly violated, failing which consider dropping the charges.

They submitted that they failed to prepare their defence outline because they did not have sufficient documentation which could only be provided by the State.

“The accused is unable to fashion his defence because it is not clear what conduct the State is alleging to have been unlawful. This court, therefore, has no choice but to proceed to quash the charges,” they submitted.

“The accused persons are not clear how or why it is alleged the transfer of money from Zimbabwe Football Association’s Ecobank account 0181197610292101 was an intentional act of defeating legal proceedings. After a request for further particulars lodged in terms of 177 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (Chapter 09:07] the prosecution failed to provide any information as to the basis the prosecution claims the Sheriff’s attachment of funds in bank accounts is a judicial proceeding as defined by the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.”

The State, however, failed to provide the garnishee order and asked for postponement of the matter to next week Friday.

Allegations are that on November 23, 2016, Daisy Guest House (Private) Limited obtained a High Court judgment against Zifa under case number HC 6491/16.

According to the judgment, Zifa was ordered to pay Daisy Guest House (Private) Limited US$161 762.

Daisy Guest House (Private) Limited, however, faced challenges in executing the judgment and the debt remained unpaid.

It is alleged that on October 15, 2018, Daisy Lodge obtained a garnishee order from the High Court under case number HC 8249/17 against Zifa’s two Steward Bank accounts.

The State alleges that on November 21, 2018, the Sheriff of the High Court went to Steward Bank armed with the garnishee order to effect the judicial attachment.

On arrival, the Sheriff learnt that there was no money in Zifa’s accounts.

On January 22, 2019, the Sheriff went to Ecobank Borrowdale branch intending to garnish Zifa’s two accounts it held with the bank.

The Sheriff, however, failed to do so because the garnishee order that he intended to use was directed to Steward Bank and not Ecobank.

Three days later, the accused persons, on realising that the Sheriff wanted to garnish Zifa’s Ecobank accounts, held an emergency meeting where they resolved that US$740 270 held in the association’s two Ecobank accounts that were received from Fifa for football development be immediately transferred to a conduit investment account provided by Machana as a precautionary measure until the Daisy debt had been settled.

Follow Desmond on Twitter @DChingarande1

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