The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Rushwaya Was Transparent - Nyatanga

FORMER Zifa chairman Mr Wellington Nyatanga yesterday said Henrietta Rushwaya never concealed information about trips to Asia and that he never saw money being exchanged during the matches. He said this during the trial of former Zifa chief executive officer Rushwaya who is accused of corruptly concealing transactions from her principals, charges she is denying. Rushwaya appeared with her lawyer Mr Charles Chinyama before regional magistrate Mrs Esther Chivasa.

During cross-examination, Mr Nyatanga said during his tenure the secretariat was headed by Rushwaya who was employed by Zifa.

"At the time my role was to advise the secretariat headed by the chief executive on national teams intending to play matches. The secretariat would then do follow-ups on that. The person responsible to articulate that was the chief executive since I did not work fulltime for Zifa. She had the right to conduct duties without consulting any board member and her contract allowed her to do it alone. I was also at the Merdeka Cup and I did not see any money exchanging hands," Mr Nyatanga said.

Mr Nyatanga told the court he neither filed a report with the Anti-Corruption Commission nor the police and that the three different statements were recorded from him by the Commission.

He said Fifa statutes and the Zifa constitution stipulate that no football matters should be taken to the courts.

Mr Chinyama argued that the national team trip to Vietnam was in pursuant of an invitation by the Vietnam Football Federation addressed to Mr Nyatanga. Mr Nyatanga said he had knowledge the team would travel to Vietnam and there was full disclosure.

"We had correspondence from Vietnam in the form of emails and faxes. Despite being not permanently employed by Zifa, I had tabled some of the matches before the secretariat passed the decision.

"According to Article 45,5 of the Zifa constitution, she would conduct duties on conditions of her employment implying there was nothing wrong in her co-ordinating the travel of the national team to Asia," Mr Nyatanga said.

The second State witness and former Zifa vice president Mr Tendai Madzorera said during his tenure his duties involved processing invitations that came from the chief executive.

"Invitations from host teams came from the chief executive which I then passed to the rest of the Zifa board. Results from the board were passed back to the secretariat," he said.

The charges against Rushwaya emanate from soccer matches the senior national soccer team played in Asia.

She is alleged to have arranged trips for the national soccer team to Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Oman, Jordan, Bulgaria, China, Thailand and Yemen between 2007 and 2010 without permission from her superiors.

The trial continues today.

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