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Former ZIFA boss Felton Kamambo acquitted of bribery

By Staff Reporter

Former Zimbabwe Football Association(ZIFA) president Felton Kamambo was Friday acquitted of charges of bribing his way to the top football job.

Trial magistrate Bianca Makwande said in her ruling that the State failed to prove its case against Kamambo.

Kamambo had been accused of bribing agents as he sought election to becoming ZIFA boss.

“To make matters worse for the State, the key witness Robert Matoka, who was the accused’s campaign manager, disowned his statement that he had reported to ZIFA that the accused was paying bribes to delegates.

“He maintained that this money was to cover expenses for delegates who were invited to the campaigns and was not bribe money,” she said.

Matoka, under cross-examination, maintained that he was coerced to make the statements of bribery by the accused’s opponent Phillip Chiyangwa. 

Moreover, Makwande said the defence argued that the State failed to prove the essential element of “agent”. 

“It argued that though the evidence shows that the delegates were voters, there is no evidence to prove that they were agents. It was not proved whose agents they were. It is submitted that section 169 of the Code does not give the State a blank cheque to call everyone an agent.”

Makwande said considering those circumstances, the court could not safely conclude that the money which Kamambo deposited into the voters’ accounts were gifts or considerations for them to vote for him at the ZIFA elections. 

In any case, one would also think that given the number of expected voters, if Kamambo was bribing the voters, he would be expected to have paid more voters so that he would secure at least 50 percent of the vote. 

Kamambo, in his defence case, told the court that he failed in the first round to obtain a clear victory.

He said he won after his opponent withdrew from contesting for the second round.

The State alleged that Kamambo paid US$ 8,310 to 25 delegates as bribes for them to vote for him.

As a result of the alleged inducements made by Kamambo on 16 December 2018, he received 35 votes against 24 votes received by Mr Chiyangwa. 

Kamambo was represented by his lawyer Admire Rubaya.

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