23 November 2012

Zimbabwe: More Testify in Rushwaya's Case

The trial of former Zifa chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya accused of concealing transactions from a principal continued yesterday with former Warrior's manager Ernest "Mapepa" Sibanda testifying.

Sibanda told the court that he did not know why Rushwaya was in court and he only learnt of her case through reading newspapers.

"I don't know why she is in court but I read in newspapers that it is something to do with Asiagate," said Sibanda.

He said Rushwaya was her boss and she was not answerable to him adding that his duties were to call players into camp and deal with issues concerning player's welfare, among others.

Sibanda, who was being led by prosecutor Mr Sidom Chinzete, said he knew about the Warrior's trip to Oman, as he was part of the contingent which Godfrey Japajapa and Rushwaya headed.

He said in Oman, players were given US$400 while the technical team was given US$800 each.

When asked about the source of the money, Sibanda said it was not his prerogative to ask where the money came from as his responsibility was to make sure that the team was paid what was due to it. He said in Oman there was nothing unusual as players were listening to the coach's instructions adding that the team won one nil. During cross-examination by defence counsel Mr Charles Chinyama, Sibanda reiterated that he did not know the charges which Rushwaya was facing. The State told the presiding magistrate Ms Esthere Chivasa that 84 more State witness would be called to testify when the trial resumes on December 17. The charges against Rushwaya emanated from soccer matches the senior national soccer team played in Asia. Rushwaya 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.

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