By Desmond Chingarande
Zimbabwe Football Association president Felton Kamambo, who is accused of bribing councillors to win the presidency vacancy has filed an application for discharge at the close of the state case.
Kamambo ,represented by advocate Tawanda Zhuwarara, denied the offence saying the money paid to councilors were expenses incurred during their campaign period.
In his application filed before magistrate Bianca Makwande, Kamambo submitted that the state failed to prove a prima facie case against him and all 13 state witnesses failed to link him with the bribery allegations.
“It is respectfully submitted that the State failed to prove the essential elements of the crime.
Further, and in the alternative, the State failed to prove a case which a reasonable court, acting carefully might properly convict the accused person,” Zhuwarara submits.
Kamambo said the state witnesses contradict the charge sheet which said he bribed them.
12 witnesses called by the state participated in 2018 Zifa elections and at the end of the state case the state abandoned other counts of bribery and left with 12 counts.
In the 12 counts left all the witnesses denied ever receiving a bribe from the accused.
“All the State witnesses denied ever being induced in any way by the accused.
All the State witnesses denied ever receiving a consideration from the accused for them to vote in a particular way in the election.
All the State witnesses denied ever receiving a gift from the accused.
As such, there is no evidence to prove the essential element of inducement with consideration of cash from the accused,” Zhuwarara said.
Kamambo however did not deny paying cash to the State witnesses, and the later did not deny receiving same but according to the state they wanted to know what was the payment for.
All the witness said it was the payment for expenses incurred in transport and food for purposes of attending the campaign rallies.
“It is also crucial to note that the accused had no way of knowing how the
people had voted.
It was a secret vote.
The people who received the money were only representatives of their constituencies.
The decision on who to vote for was that of the members.
The State failed to prove that any of the members on the principals made a report complaining that their agent did not honour the instructions that they had given him.”
Kamambo said the complainant was a losing candidate and is not a principal.
He further submitted that it was made clear that the money had no link to any decision making in the election and was not payment made with the intention of seeking any favour from the voters.
The State represented by Michael Reza is expected to respond this week and the ruling on March 29.
Kamambo was accused by a losing candidate in the Zifa presidency election Philip Chiyangwa.