Kamambo has case to answer: Court

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Felton-Kamambo

By Desmond Chingarande
A HARARE magistrate has dismissed an application for discharge filed by suspended Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) president Felton Kamambo.

The Zifa boss, who appeared before magistrate Stanford Mambanje, is accused of bribing his way to the office.

Kamambo had filed an application for discharge after 12 State witness testified in court denying being bribed by him. They however, admitted that were given money for expenses they incurred during the manifesto launch for his Zifa presidency.

But magistrate Mambanje while reading magistrate Bianca Makwande’s ruling dismissed the application saying Kamambo must comment on some sticking issues that were not exhausted in the trial.

The magistrate said some of the witnesses were accomplice witnesses and that the court needed clarity on the issue they raised in their testimony.

“The court can only look into the credibility of the witnesses. The accused contested for the Zimbabwe Football Association’s presidency and in his defence he said all the candidates gave the councillors money for manifesto campaign and must not be criminalised. However, Fifa statutes prohibit gifts of any form,” Mambanje said.

“The Act says any person who for himself offered an agent for inducement or for showing any favour or to disfavour another person, such person shall be guilty of bribe.”

Mambanje said although the ballots were cast in secret he was of the considered view that the money paid to agents were for the purpose of bribing the agents.

“The vote was cast by a secret ballot and there was no way he could know who casted for him but I am of the considered view that the money paid to agents were for the purpose of convincing the agents,” he ruled.

Mambanje said although witness Robert Matoka distanced himself from the bribe allegations, his statement to the police disclosed that Kamambo had bribed the councillors to vote for him.

He ruled that although agents denied being bribed by Kamambo, it was common cause because they feared incriminating themselves since they were accomplices.

Mambanje said it was clear that the money was meant to induce the voting councillors in the sense that the councillors who were based in Harare where the meeting was being held received the same figure as those living outside Harare.

The Zifa president is
being accused of bribing the councillors to win the presidency against the complainant Philip Chiyangwa.

Magistrate Mambanje postponed the matter to Thursday.

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