By Ngqwele Dube
Former Asiagate Investigating Committee chairman, Ndumiso Gumede says the body has been vindicated following the imposition of a life ban on player agent, Kudzanai (Kudzi) Shaba by Fifa for his role in the football betting scandal.
The world football governing body announced recently that they had imposed life bans on eight individuals after being found guilty of influencing match results.
Gumede said he feels his committee, that also included Bennedict Moyo, Elliot Kasu and Fungai Chihuri has been vindicated after being vilified for their findings by certain sections of the football community.
The then Zifa vice-president said it was now apparent that they were on the correct path. The match fixing scandal saw the national team playing in several fixed matches, mostly in Asia.
“We always knew we were doing the correct thing and we were lauded by Fifa for our efforts with the only hiccup being that it was the then executive that imposed sentences instead of a disciplinary committee.
“We had done a good job and there were a lot of other people, which I cannot name who were actually involved and should have been punished for their deeds.
“We took a lot of flak and some claimed a tribal agenda so they can escape censure despite the fact that we had Chihuri and Kasu on the committee,” he said.
Gumede said they went to Fifa to have the sentences imposed internationally but the football governing body urged them to first have a judiciary body make the pronouncements instead of the executive.
“After we took our file to Fifa seeking an international imposition of the sentences, Fifa told us a judiciary body is the one that should impose sentences hence they could not endorse them. They advised us to hand over to a judicial body and that is what should have been done.”
He said the SRC wrote to the then Eddie Nyatanga-led Zifa in 2009 seeking clarification on the national team’s trips to Asia but a coy response saw the body insisting on a probe in a second letter that was sent to the country’s football mother body when Cuthbert Dube was now president with Gumede the vice-president.
“I don’t know why the SRC kept quiet when our decisions were rescinded and all those we had found guilty were absolved because it was at their insistence that we instituted the probe. I feel they should have told Philip Chiyangwa (former Zifa president) to follow what Fifa had advised us to do as we sought to clean the game.
“What statement was he sending to perpetrators? That they can do anything and get away with it? It had a negative impact on our game because people know they can fix matches and get away with it and it might come back to haunt us,” he said. Sunday News