Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE Football Association (Zifa) president, Felton Kamambo will on Tuesday appear at the Harare Magistrates Court Rotten Row to face allegations of bribery, which are believed to have emanated from his election to lead the country’s most followed sport almost two years ago.
Kamambo was recently served with summons by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to present himself in court. The summons, dated 12 August instruct the Zifa boss to make himself available in person to the court of law on Tuesday morning to answer to charges of bribery.
Last month, Zimbabwe Republic Police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi told this publication that the courts had directed the law enforcements agency to get statements from witnesses, believed to be Zifa councillors before the dockets are sent back to prosecutors.
Even though Asst Comm Nyathi did not provide the exact number of councillors part of the investigation, it is understood that they are 32, with the bulk of them said to have already given statements to the police. Zifa lawyer, Chenaimoyo Gumiro, who is representing Kamambo in the case confirmed that they had received the directive to appear in court but had not yet seen the State outline.
“I confirm that he (Kamambo) was served with the summons to appear for trial on 25 August to face bribery charges.
‘We are yet to be furnished with the State papers, we have made several attempts but to no avail,’’ Gumiro said.
What makes it interesting is that in January this year, Kamambo had similar charges against him dropped after the prosecution was declined. In communication directed to Zifa general-secretary, Superintendent Naboth Nyachega, the Officer Commanding ZRP Commercial Crimes Division, Team One said the NPA refused to proceed with the matter because there was not enough evidence.
“Reference is made to your letter dated 2 January 2020 in which your office was requesting the current position of the above stated matter.
“Be advised that the matter was referred to the National Prosecuting Authority and prosecution was declined due to lack of evidence against the accused person who is Felton Kamambo,” wrote Supt Nyachega in a letter dated 10 January 2020.
Gumiro indicated that they will only get to know what fresh information has been gathered by the police when they are given the State outline tomorrow.
“All we know for now is that the allegations herein are the same allegations he was charged with and prosecution was declined by the National Prosecuting Authority. So, we are yet to know from the state papers what has changed from the previous position taken by the state,’’ Gumiro said.
Since prosecution was initially declined with the police having carried out investigations Gumiro is of the view that Kamambo will once again be cleared.
“The president has no case at all, it takes two to commit an offence of bribery, so someone has to come and confess he committed an offence,’’ said Gumiro.
Kamambo was elected Zifa president in December 2018 when he beat Philip Chiyangwa who had occupied the post since the end of 2015.