By Mukudzei Chingwere
ZIFA lawyer, Chenaimoyo Gumiro, says the association president, Felton Kamambo, gave a warned-and-cautioned statement to the police in Harare yesterday.
This is part of investigations into allegations of bribery. Gumiro said reports, which were circulating on social media that Kamambo had been arrested, were not true.
The allegations relate to the ZIFA elections in December 2018 when Kamambo emerged as the leader of domestic football after beating Philip Chiyangwa to the post.
Allegations have flown for a while that police were investigating allegations whether 28 councillors, who made the panel of voters, could have been influenced by some payments. Kamambo has constantly dismissed the allegations as false and an attempt to destabilise the smooth-running of domestic football.
The case, which was first investigated by the Commercial Crimes Unit, who said they had been advised by the National Prosecuting Authority they could not press charges because “of lack of evidence,’’ is now being handled by the Suburban Division.
“He (Kamambo) was not arrested, but we were called to Harare Central Police Station, and they recorded a warned and cautioned statement, on allegations relating to bribery charges,” said Gumiro.
“It is not a new case but the same allegations that we were previously called for, the bribery allegations during the ZIFA election period.
“Last time the case was at the CCD, and today he recorded a warned-and-caution statement taken by the Suburban Division.
“Now we wait for further instructions from the police but, for the record, he has not been arrested and there is no warrant of arrest against him, he is at home.’’
ZIFA spokesperson, Xolisani Gwesela, also provided a statement dismissing reports Kamambo had been arrested.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association wishes to respond to several enquiries that have inundated our offices regarding our president Felton Kamambo,’’ Gwesela said in his statement.
“The Association wishes to inform the football loving public that Mr Kamambo has neither been detained nor placed under police custody as is being peddled in certain quarters.
“Mr Kamambo was invited to the Surbuban section at Harare Central Police station where a warned-and-cautioned statement was recorded on allegations of election bribery on a matter reported to the Commercial Crimes Unit of police by Hon Dr Philip Chiyangwa.
“The ZIFA president was never detained or harassed by the police and is actually at home with his family.
“While the matter is subjudice, ZIFA would like to assure the football community that all shall be well and justice shall prevail.
“As per the 2020 motto, ZIFA will let “football do the talking” as we are pencilled for exciting football times ahead.
“We urge all football stakeholders to remain calm and allow the law to take its course.’’
Kamambo has, of late, been on a charm offensive asking for the feuding parties in domestic football to bury their differences and fight to develop the game. The Herald