HARARE – Footballers and officials found guilty of match-fixing and illegal betting in the Asiagate scam have to fork out $6 000 for their cases to be heard by a Zifa Special Appeals Committee commissioned in Harare yesterday.
Zifa president Cuthbert Dube yesterday appointed a three-man committee composed of two eminent advocates and a veteran football administrator to review sentences of those keen to challenge the verdicts handed down by the Justice Ebrahim Commission.
The Appeals Committee includes Advocate Silas Chekera, currently based at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Advocate Thabani Mpofu, an advocate of the High Court and Supreme Court in Zimbabwe and former Black Aces chairperson Chris Mbanga.
Dube yesterday shot down suggestions that appeal fee is prohibitive.
“We feel that it (appeal fee) is very reasonable,” Dube said at the commissioning ceremony yesterday.
“Do not forget there are administration costs that have to be looked after. We urge all prospective appellants to furnish the Zifa secretariat with their documents for the appeals accompanied by an appeals fee of $6 000. No case will be entertained unless and until the full $6 000 is paid.”
The Zifa boss denied his board was lacking in compassion.
“Once you commit a crime, you have to pay for it. We are not cruel people; we have got a conscience. In the process of cleaning up some harsh things do happen.”
Zifa lawyer Ralph Maganga added that sentences were not just handed down without precedent.
“These sentences did not come from the blue. There was widespread consultation with associations where similar cases have occurred,” Maganga said.
“Those people who have been claiming to have been sentenced without being charged and without being invited to appear before the Ebrahim Committee have a perfect chance to take such information to the Zifa Special Appeals Committee.”
Maganga could not immediately reveal the period within which appeals will be entertained.
“The period is specified in the Zifa Rules and Regulations. Once the record of proceedings and the transcript are served, the time will start ticking.”