Rushwaya's Asiagate trips unsanctioned

HARARE - Controversial trips by the Zimbabwe national football team organised by axed Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya in Asia were unsanctioned and unauthorised, the court heard.

The court heard Rushwaya did not consult the board or get authority from board members.

During the trial, former Zifa president Wellington Nyatanga said Rushwaya as the CEO was supposed to report to him, as the president and principal together with other board members.

Asked why he did not file any police report after the offence was done, Nyatanga said Zifa and Federation of International Football Association (Fifa) statutes did not allow football matters to be taken to the police or the courts.

Former Zifa board member Tendai Madzorera told the court Rushwaya should have contacted other board members to see if they were aware that the team had travelled.

He said they became aware of the Asia matches through newspaper publications.

Rushwaya, who is facing nine counts of corruptly concealing a transaction from her principals, pleaded not guilty.

Charles Chinyama who is representing Rushwaya said it was her duty as CEO to authorise matches.

He said it was not correct for a new board to criminalise what had been done during other board’s tenures.

It is alleged Rushwaya initially arranged for the Warriors’ trip to Vietnam where they participated in the Agribank Cup, an annual tournament organised by the Vietnam Football Association, and lost to Finland and Vietnam, but drew against Uzbekistan.

The state alleged Rushwaya was never authorised by Zifa to embark on the trips whereupon the team’s call-up and preparation were ad-hoc and unplanned as there were never any local camping and training.
 
Rushwaya, it is alleged never disclosed to Zifa, the person or entities that funded the trips.

The trial continues today. - Ivan Zhakata

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