By Daniel Nemukuyu and Augustine Hwata
HARARE- Former Zifa chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya was yesterday arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission on allegations of bribery and match-fixing linked to the Asiagate scandal. She was picked up in Harare at around 5pm and detained overnight at Avondale Police Station.
She is expected to appear in court today. Her lawyer, Selby Hwacha, confirmed the arrest but said he was not aware of the details. “Yes, she was arrested and she is at Avondale Police Station. As of now, the exact allegations are not yet known to us,” said Hwacha.
Rushwaya has been fingered heavily in the Asiagate Report produced by Zifa as the mastermind of the match-fixing scandal. The former Zifa CEO was suspended and later fired from the association for her alleged role in the scandal.
On another dramatic day in the capital, a day after announcing that only three players had been blacklisted from the Warriors, Zifa president Cuthbert Dube changed his stance yesterday and endorsed the blanket suspension of 80 players.
The stage has now been set for Norman Mapeza and his assistant Joey Antipas, who are also fingered in the report, to be blacklisted from the Warriors until their cases have been determined. Mapeza and Antipas’ suspension is set to be confirmed today.
On Wednesday, the Zifa boss said only Method Mwanjali, Nyasha Mushekwi and Thomas Sweswe had been blacklisted. But yesterday, Dube issued a statement saying all the 80 players fingered in the Asiagate report will not be eligible for national team selection until they are cleared by an independent ethics committee.
On Monday, a Zifa emergency meeting resolved to suspend 80 players from national duties until their roles in the Asiagate scandal have been determined. But Dube appeared to provide relief to some players on Wednesday when he said that only three players – Mushekwi, Mwanjali and Sweswe – had been blacklisted.
Five Zifa board members are on suspension on cases related to match-fixing. Zifa vice-president Kenny Marange, Methembe Ndlovu and Solomon Mugavazi were suspended last year to facilitate investigations into their role in the trips to Asia.
Gift Banda and Patrick Hokonya were also suspended over match-fixing cases in Division One. Dube released a statement last night titled: “Ineligibility of all national team players fingered in the Asiagate scandal report for national team call ups.” The statement, signed by Dube, read:
“The Zimbabwe Football Association would like to confirm that all players fingered in the Asiagate scandal report are ineligible for call up to the National Teams until they are cleared by the Zifa Independent Disciplinary Ad Hoc Committee chaired by Justice Ebrahim.
“The committee commences work in mid-February 2012 and should complete the exercise by the end of March 2012. The Association invites the players in question to come forward and volunteer information on their involvement in the infamous trips, between now and mid-February 2012.
“The information which the players shall volunteer shall be treated with the strictest confidentiality. Players willing to make appointments for the meetings with the Association should do so through the office the chief executive officer.”
Dube also reiterated that their decision to bar the players from representing the Warriors did not translate to a ban on their club careers.
“The association would like to reiterate that the exclusion of the players fingered in the Asiagate scandal report is by no means a ban but a temporary suspension until the players have been cleared by the Independent Disciplinary Committee,” said Dube in his statement.
“The Zifa Football Association is committed to protecting the credo of football.”