Sibanda says he learnt of Asiagate in newspapers

HARARE - Former senior national football team manager Ernest Sibanda who was found guilty by the Ebrahim Commission for match-fixing has told the court that he only came to know of Asiagate in newspapers.

Sibanda said this while testifying yesterday in the trial of former Zifa boss Henrietta Rushwaya who is facing nine counts of corruptly concealing a transaction from a principal.

After being asked by Rushwaya’s lawyer Charles Chinyama whether he knew the reason why the former football boss was in court, Sibanda said: “I do not know the reason. I just read in newspapers that something happened referred to as Asiagate.”

He conceded having travelled with the national soccer team on a trip to Oman, where Zimbabwe won by a goal to nil between September 9 and 11, 2008.

Sibanda who was based in Bulawayo during his tenure in office told the court he reported to Rushwaya. He said he was not “privy” to any communication between Rushwaya and her former principal, the then Zifa president Wellington Nyatanga.

Four witnesses have so far testified in a case in which the state claims it intends to call 84 more witnesses.

The trial continues on December 17. - Tendai Kamhungira

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