‘Limpopogate’ match-fixing kingpins challenge remand
By Prosper Dembedza
Former ZIFA chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya and her accomplices Edzai Kasinauyo and Nation Dube, accused of organising the “Limpopogate” match-fixing scandal, yesterday challenged further remand arguing that the dissolution of ZIFA by its president Philip Chiyangwa clearly meant there was no complainant in their case.
This came after prosecutor Mr Peter Kachirika had applied for the matter to be further postponed to July 12 saying that the docket was still at the Prosecutor-General’s office for vetting.
The trio, through their lawyers submitted that the State’s allegations and facts were not revealing an offence against them.
They are on $100 bail each.
Dube’s lawyer Mr Simon Simango told the court that the dissolution of Zifa meant there was no complainant in the matter, leaving the trio with no one to sue.
“If the trio was to be acquitted today whom will they sue? Right now as we speak, there is no complainant in this matter after the dissolution of Zifa,” said Mr Simango
Mr Simango further stated that the State had no case against the trio.
Mr Harrisson Nkomo who is representing Kasinauyo, added that the charge and the facts presented to the court against the trio did not form a legal basis for them to continue being on remand.
“What is just mentioned is that there was a plan that unnamed characters who were supposed to represent Zimbabwe in that particular match were going to be given bribes to influence the outcome of the match but no exchange of money was revealed,” said Mr Nkomo.
Mr Nkomo further stated that the facts of the State as currently presented, did not establish reasonable suspicion that the trio committed a crime.
“The State has made unnecessary and psychological detention of the trio which are devastating,” he said.
Harare magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe deferred the matter to today.
As part of their bail conditions, they were ordered to report once a week at CID Serious Frauds, not to interfere with State witnesses and to reside at their given addresses.
Allegations are that between January and February this year Rushwaya — working in cahoots with Kasinauyo, Ian Gorowa and Nation Dube — was involved in acts of soccer match-fixing targeting South African Premier Soccer League teams.
The court heard that Rushwaya, together with Leeroy Kundishora Waguta, who turned out to be the whistle blower, were working in connivance with Chan Sankran, a well-known Asian match fixer who was the financier.
In February, it is alleged that Rushwaya and his accomplices agreed to fix the AFCON qualifier matches between Swaziland and Zimbabwe scheduled for March 25 and 28, 2016 in Mbabane and Harare respectively. They agreed to offer bribes to Zimbabwe national soccer team players as an inducement to lose the game.
It is alleged that they agreed to implement their plan after announcement of the team selected to play against Swaziland.
It is the State’s case that as a result, Kasinauyo was tasked to put pressure on Warriors coach Kallisto Pasuwa to prematurely announce the list of players or leak the list to the syndicate.
It is alleged that they agreed to target three players — a goalkeeper and two defenders.
The court heard that Waguta alerted the coach of the plot to bribe the players and fix the matches.
He assured the coach that he would constantly update him with the progress of Rushwaya’s plans.
The court heard that after the delay in announcing the players, Rushwaya identified Tatenda Mukuruva as the probable goalkeeper. Gorowa phoned Mukuruva inviting him to South Africa purporting that he wanted him for trials with the aim of luring him into their deal.
It is alleged that Mukuruva informed Pasuwa of the plan.
Pasuwa, it is alleged, constantly received information from Waguta and at the same time Kasinauyo kept on pressuring him for the release of the list of players. As a result Pasuwa could not contain the pressure and finally informed ZIFA president Dr Philip Chiyangwa.
The court heard that on March 10, then ZIFA chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze reported the matter to the police leading to Rushwaya’s arrest. The Herald