State, Kamambo clash over bribery charges
ZIFA president Felton Kamambo, accused of bribing the association’s electoral college to vote for him into office, told the court yesterday the charges do not hold water and are just a moral complaint.
Allegations against Kamambo are that he paid at least 32 councillors through mobile money transactions ahead of the December 2018 election which he went on to win against the incumbent Philip Chiyangwa, who is the complainant in the matter.
Yesterday, the Zifa boss was in court buttressing his application for an exception which was filed last week before regional magistrate Bianca Makwande.
Through his lawyer Tawanda Zhuwarara, Kamambo said the charges are embarrassing since they are not clear and there is no Zifa rule or statute he is alleged to have violated.
“National elections are only where inducing a voter is criminal in terms of the Electoral Act. “Every candidate in an
election is seeking to induce voters and every promise is an inducement.
“Outside national elections, anything can be induced be it a burial society election or a Covid-19 committee.
“Without pointing to a specific provision, rule, or stipulation within the Zifa Statutes or regulatory documents, the conduct of the accused even if proved would not be considered criminal.
“The charge does not inform the accused on what basis the ‘voters’ are not entitled to receive the considerations or gifts alleged,” Zhuwarara argued before the magistrate.
State counsel Michael Reza opposed the application saying the charges are clearly spelt out before stating that
they alleged that Kamambo intentionally bribed voters by giving them considerations.
The State said paying voters would discredit an election but there is nothing wrong in inducing voters with a promise or vision.
“If voters or agents are allowed to be paid in an election then the election goes to the highest bidder. There is nothing wrong in inducing voters with a promise or vision but not with the strength of your pocket,” Reza argued.
The magistrate will hand down her ruling on October 20.