ZIMBABWE Football Association (Zifa) president Felton Kamambo allegedly paid bribes ranging from as little as $50 to $500 to councillors to vote for him during the 2018 elections, the Daily News can report.
Kamambo, who beat the then incumbent Philip Chiyangwa by 35 to 24 votes, was arraigned before a Harare magistrate yesterday facing 32 counts of bribery.
He was not asked to plead to the allegations when he appeared before Harare magistrate Richard Ramaboa.
The trial could not proceed as the defence had not been served with all the State papers for the case and Ramaboa postponed the matter to September 14.
While the details of the case against Kamambo have not been made public since the investigations began a year ago, yesterday’s proceedings finally revealed the evidence the State claims it has against the football administrator.
Kamambo is alleged to have made several mobile money transactions to the councillors between December 1 and 16, who form part of the Zifa electoral college.
Some of the payments were made from the mobile money account of Kamambo’s former chief election agent Robert Matoka, who is expected to be a State witness in the matter.
The elections were held in the capital on December 18, just two days after Kamambo allegedly sent the last payment.
Among the councillors who allegedly received the payments is the late Willard Manyengavana, Denis Thsuma, Mhloro Tavaziva, Edward Chekure, Kudakwashe Chisango, Andrew Tapela, Stanslous Nyachowe and Brenda Bvudzijena.
Kamambo is alleged to have also sent various amounts to Tafadzwa Mujuru, Givemore Chidhakwa, Thomas Marambanyika, Stanley Chapeta, Kudakwashe Remba, Artwell Moyo, Pithias Shoko and Francis Ntuta.
Olivarth Guvuriro, Doubt Ncube, Pervious Mathe, Ropafadzo Matemavi, Beaullar Msarah and Nkosilathi Ncube were also named in court papers as having received money from Kamambo and Matoka.
Kamambo allegedly made a $50 payment to Zifa Midlands youth football representative Shoko on December 7 before going on to make two more transactions totalling $250 to the same individual.
On December 14, Kamambo allegedly sent $60 to Zifa Matabeleland North Province chairperson Dennis Tshuma from his mobile money account.
The previous day, the then aspiring Zifa president had also sent $130 to Tshuma; another transaction which is part of the State’s case.
Mutare deputy mayor Chisango, who is also the Mutare City Rovers club chairperson, received the highest amount on the list after Matoka reportedly sent him $500 on December 14.
The State says they are in possession of all the records of the mobile money transfers that were allegedly sent to the voters by Kamambo.
“Sometime in December 2018 accused…offered gifts or considerations…from his number…to Zifa 2018 congress voters as indicated,” the State said in an affidavit deposed in the court.
“All the gifts or considerations paid by accused were meant to induce voters to vote for him and are all documented…
“The history of inducements paid by accused were lawfully obtained, are secured as exhibits and may be produced in court as evidence.
“The voters as indicated…received and used the inducements from the accused and never returned any of them back to accused and evidence to this effect can be produced in court.”
The State alleges that all the payments made by Kamambo were bribes since there is no provision in the Zifa constitution for election candidates to pay councillors.
“There was no agreement or arrangement in place between Zifa Electoral Committee and voters entitling them to receive such consideration or gifts as indicated,” the State said.
“As a result of inducements made by accused…he received 35 votes against 24 received by complainant. Accused was declared eventual winner by Vusi Vuma, the Zifa Electoral Committee chairperson.”