The Herald (Harare)

30 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Aisiagate - Masomere Hopes for Divine Intervention

AS the deadline for filing the Asiagate appeals closes today, Shabanie Mine coach Luke Masomere is now hoping for divine intervention with a two-year ban looming.

In an emotional interview with Star FM on Wednesday, Masomere said he felt short-changed by Zifa and was sacrificed in the Asiagate scandal.

Masomere said there could a sinister motive to drive him out of football.

"Those who accepted the money were pardoned. I never accepted any money and it was there and people where talking about it.

"Now I am being implicated for nothing. I really do not know what to do but I know that God is there for everybody.

"The God that I pray will help me," he said during the radio interview.

Former Warriors team manager, Ernest "Mapepa" Sibanda and coach Joey Antipas are the only two officials who confirmed they received money but escaped with lighter sentences.

The outspoken Masomere said he couldn't understand how he could be banned from football for going on a trip where he received US$200.

"I told them that I did not know anything and I went with the squad at the last minute as I was ordered," said Masomere.

"I did not even have any assistant coach and I travelled as the head coach only.

"I only included Energy Murambadoro as the keeper but all that is now history.

'They do not care about my future. They just want to see me suffer and I do not for what reason."

When asked if the Asiagate investigation and the sentences slapped on individuals will clean Zimbabwean football, Masomere shot from the hip.

"They are not after cleaning Zimbabwean football but (doing) something else.

"Zifa messed up, they knew what was taking place.

"I benefited nothing, save for US$200, which was said to be from Benjani Mwaruwari.

"Everyone who went to Vietnam was given US$200, including the players, which Henrietta said was coming from Benjani."

Masomere said those behind the Asiagate investigations now appear to be on a fund-raising exercise by pegging the appeal fee at US$6 000.

Already Guthrie Zhokinyi and Taurai Mangwiro have paid their appeal fees.

"I know that those behind Asiagate just want to fund-raise," he said.

"Let's a say qualified bus driver has been stopped by traffic police for exceeding the speed limit.

"The bus is full of passengers and is travelling from Harare to Bulawayo.

"Is the police going to issue tickets to everyone on board for over speeding?" he quizzed.

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