By Fungai Lupande
Former Zifa chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya was reportedly in a romantic relationship with former Warriors captain Benjani Mwaruwari, the court heard yesterday.
This was said by Leeroy Kundishora Waguta, who is the whistle-blower in the ongoing soccer match-fixing case involving Rushwaya, former Zifa board member Edzai Kasinauyo and axed Warriors assistant coach Nation Dube.
Testifying in court, Waguta said Rushwaya also harboured a convicted match-fixer, Raj Perumal.
“I was introduced to a convicted match-fixer, Raj Perumal, by Rushwaya and I stayed with him at Mwaruwari’s house in Kyalami Estate in Midrand, South Africa. I was working for Mwaruwari, managing his properties in South Africa,” Waguta said.
“Rushwaya had a relationship with Mwaruwari and she had (unlimited access) to his properties. She did what she pleased and brought people to the house.”
Waguta said Rushwaya contacted him in January this year requesting to see him.
“We met in Johannesburg at Maslow Hotel in Sandton, South Africa, and she said she had investors who wanted to deal in soccer betting,” said Waguta.
“She asked me to talk to players. I agreed since I am close to Zimbabwe footballers who are playing in South Africa. My task was to influence footballers to throw away matches and lose by a two-goal margin.
“Rushwaya was in the company of two Asian men, one of whom she introduced to me as ‘Chief’, and her cousin Tinashe Makonese. She gave me $2 000 for shopping after the meeting and we started having meetings.”
Waguta told the court that his first task was to talk to Washington Arubi, who plays for University of Pretoria, to lose a match against University of the Witwatersrand.
“I offered him $8 000 and he vehemently (rejected it), threatening to assault me. In February, I met Kasinauyo, Rushwaya, ‘Chief’ and Ian Gorowa at Protea Hotel in Hatfield, South Africa.
“It was indicated that the Africa Cup of Nations 2017 qualifier game between Zimbabwe and Swaziland was to be manipulated. Kasinauyo promised to put pressure on Warriors coach Calisto Pasuwa to release the team that would play with Swaziland, and Gorowa said he would talk to Warriors goalkeeper Tatenda Mukuruva.
“Chief proposed $15 000 per each of the three targeted players -the goalkeeper, defender and midfielder – or we would target the goalkeeper and two defenders. I was to get R100 000 while Rushwaya and others would get $40 000 each. However, there was a misunderstanding because Rushwaya wanted $60 000.”
Waguta told the court that he confided in Pasuwa what was happening.
“I have a close relationship with Pasuwa. He is my father’s friend,” he said.
“The school I attended was far from home, so I stayed with Pasuwa. He is like a brother to me and he always gives me advice. I alerted him of the plan.
“I did not benefit anything from the Zimbabwe/Swaziland game because the allegation came before the match, and I was surprised. If Pasuwa had not known of the plan, I would have continued with my task because this was my source of livelihood.”
Rushwaya’s lawyer, Simon Mupindu, presented an alibi and said his client entered South Africa on February 5 and returned the same day, contrary to Waguta’s assertions that the pair had a series of meetings. The Herald