Zifa boss trial witness arrested
By Prosper Dembedza
Police detectives yesterday arrested a key witness in the trial of Zimbabwe Football Association president, Felton Kamambo who is accused of bribing councillors to enable his ascension to the top post.
A visibly infuriated Robert Matoka was declared a hostile witness and initially resisted arrest at the Harare Magistrates Court as he shouted at the detectives asking why they were taking him to Harare Central Police station
Matoka’s arrest came after Harare regional magistrate Mrs Bianca Makwande declared him a hostile witness following an application by prosecutor Mr Michael Reza.
In the application Mr Reza told the court that Matoka had departed materially from his two statements and therefore he should be declared a hostile witness.
Before leading evidence from Matoka, Mr Reza had told the court that if he told the truth, he would be absolved from any form of prosecution but if he lied under oath, that cover would be removed and he would be arrested.
Soon after Mrs Makwande’s ruling Mr Reza told the court that Matoka had been declared a hostile witness and could now be arrested because the cover of not being prosecuted had fallen away.
Before Mr Reza began cross examining Matoka, the accused’s lawyer advocate Tawanda Zhuwarara made an application for postponement of the matter saying his client was not feeling well and could not spend the whole day at court. During cross examination by Mr Reza, Matoka insisted that the statements that he made were all doctored by Cosafa boss Phillip Chiyangwa.
Matoka told the court that he did not pay anyone a bribe to vote for Kamambo but the money he gave to the councillors was to cater for their transport allowances.
Matoka insisted that all the two statements were authored by Chiyangwa.
Asked why he did not act as a former police officer, Matoka said he feared Chiyangwa because of his position in the ruling party where he is a central committee member.
As the trial was progressing Mrs Makwande observed that Kamambo was sleeping inside the dock as a result of the alleged illness prompting her to stop proceedings.
Advocate Zhuwarara stood up and told the court that his client was supposed to leave for South Africa to undergo an operation.
Mrs Makwande then requested advocate Zhuwarara to bring documents proving that Kamambo was sick and also supposed to undergo an operation.
The matter was postponed to May 24 on the grounds that Kamambo tenders documents proving that he was supposed to leave for South Africa for treatment. The Herald