Rushwaya acquitted, remains banned

HARARE - Ex-Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya has been acquitted in her Asiagate scandal corruption trial, but association president Cuthbert Dube yesterday insisted she remains banned from all footballing activities.

Although the court has freed her on all nine counts of “concealing information” from her employer on the grounds that the State had failed to prove its case, Zifa says the Relm Mining owner remains sanctioned for transgressing the rules of the game.

“Her acquittal is only in terms of the criminal law but in terms of the statutes that govern football in the country, she was found guilty and she remains banned for life,” he said.

“This means she will never come back to football again. We cannot go into the technicalities of the state case because that is a different platform from what transpires in football or sport in general.

“In this case the courts were dealing with aspects of criminal law and not what the Fifa and Zifa statues say about match-fixing and corruption,’’ Dube added.

This comes as Harare magistrate Esthere Chivasa had ruled that there was insufficient evidence to secure a conviction against Rushwaya, who was accused of corruption, match fixing and concealing information from her principals.

However, the Harare businesswoman’s lawyer Charles Chinyama yesterday said the courts had been satisfied Wellington Nyatanga — the then Zifa chairman — was well aware of his CEO’s dealings, hence a conviction was impossible.

With Zifa applying to Fifa — the world soccer governing body to endorse its life ban on Rushwaya and 15 others, and for the sanctions to take a global effect — state witness and ex-national football team manager Ernest Sibanda had told the court he only knew of the so-called Asiagate in newspapers.

After organising several international matches between 2007 and 2010, Rushwaya — an alleged mastermind of the match-fixing scandal which rocked the national game three years ago — reportedly worked with one Wilson Raj Perumal, an Asian betting syndicate leader.

Within the same period, the team facilitated Warriors tours of Bahrain, Bulgaria, China, Finland, Jordan, Malaysia, Oman, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam where they lost most of the games.

According to state papers, the trips violated Zifa statutes and rules since they were not sanctioned by the board and assembly members, who also appoint delegation heads.

Comments (1)

Henrietta Rushwaya is guilty of gross manipulation & hyper corruption.She condemned Zimfootball to the abyss&doldrums.Promising football careers have now been curtailed due to her affinity to easy money & corruption in Asiagate scandal.Rushwaya has been shielded from prosecution thanks mainly to the rotten ,corrupt Zim Judiciary.Rushwaya is a Zanuiod like Leo Mugabe who stole 66000 Swiss Francs from FIFA & was never arrested nor prosecuted.

Chinenguwo Murombo - 13 September 2013

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