By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
ZIFA Appeals Committee chairperson and Harare-based lawyer Stead Kachere has denied growing suspicion that they are treating Herentals with kid gloves after their match- fixing appeal case was postponed for the second time.
After the initial postponement of the case that has seemingly attracted international attention, the matter was supposed to be heard on Tuesday, but it was again postponed to March 5.
This has raised eyebrows that the appeals committee wants to drag the case to eventually favour Herentals, who have on numerous occasions bailed out Zifa through donations to various representative national teams, in the process violating standing Fifa Code of Ethics, particularly Sub-section Two, Article 19 and 20 which deal with conflict of interest as well as offering and accepting gifts or other benefits.
However, Kachere vehemently denied that his committee was imbedded in the Herentals’ camp.
“No, why should we treat them with kid gloves? I am just a chairman of the appeals committee that has to hear their appeal. The reason the matter was postponed yesterday (Tuesday) was that some members of the Appeals Court were not available, so we had no quorum.
“Rodin Mzeche was attending a strategic meeting and could not be available, while another member Fadzai Mageza was travelling to South Africa, so we were only left with two members of the Appeals Committee, which cannot constitute a quorum.
“For this particular case we are four, but in terms of the rules and regulations, three members will suffice,” said Kachere.
He said had lawyers representing the other parties consented, they would have heard the matter in the afternoon, but it was not the case.
“We had actually said the case be adjourned to 2.15pm yesterday (Tuesday) because by then Mzeche would have finished his meeting but lawyers for the other parties had other commitments,” Kachere said.
The Premier Soccer League disciplinary committee docked Herentals three points and fined them $300 000 for attempting to influence their league match against Black Rhinos on October 19, 2019, and that meant The Students, who ended the season in 11th position with 41 points, dropped to 15th place with 38 points, two less than TelOne and Chapungu, who were relegated.
Herentals and their official Oliver Chirenga were found guilty of contravening Order 31.1.3 of the Castle Lager PSL Rules and Regulations, which make it an offence on the part of a club where its players, officials, servants or duly authorised (expressed or implied) representatives give offer or promise, whether directly or indirectly, any inducement, reward or bribe of whatsoever nature to anybody to influence the outcome of league matches.
The three points were forfeited in line with Articles 18(2) of the Fifa Disciplinary Code 2019.
Chirenga, who was charged for contravening Order 31.2.2 of the Premiership Rules and Regulations, was slapped with a $20 000 fine and banned from any football related activities for 10 years.
During the same period, he shall not be allowed to watch local football or be near any football stadium in Zimbabwe.
Former Black Rhinos manager Gift Kamuriwo was banned from participating in any football related activity for a period of three years from January 1, 2020.
One year of this period is suspended on condition that he pays a $10 000 fine. He is also not allowed to watch or be near any football stadium in Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, Herentals are today expected to appear before the PSL disciplinary committee on allegations of attempting to manipulate their league match against Bulawayo Chiefs on December 14, 2019, played at Luveve Stadium. The Chronicle