Ray Bande Senior Reporter
MUTARE deputy mayor, Kudakwashe Chisango, who is also Mutare City Rovers’ club chairperson, allegedly received a bribe to vote for Zifa president, Felton Kamambo, during the associations’ previous elections.
In a development that has drawn attention to motives behind Mutare councillors’ involvement in football matters, Chisango’s name tops the list of those who were allegedly bribed by Kamambo.
The deputy mayor reportedly received $500 on December 14, 2018 — the highest amount received by the recipients of the alleged bribes.
This came to light when Kamambo was recently arraigned before a Harare magistrate facing 32 counts of bribery.
The Zifa president allegedly paid bribes ranging from $50 to $500 for councillors to vote for him during the 2018 elections.
As a result, he beat the then Zifa president, Philip Chiyangwa.
Kamambo was not asked to plead when he appeared before Harare magistrate, Richard Ramaboa. However, the trial could not proceed as the defence had not been served with all the State papers. Ramaboa adjourned the matter to September 14.
The Zifa president is alleged to have made several mobile money transactions to the councillors who form part of the Zifa electoral college between December 1 and 16.
Some of the payments were made from Kamambo’s former chief election agent, Robert Matoka’s mobile money account. Matoka is expected to stand as a State witness in the matter.
The elections were held in Harare on December 18, just two days after Kamambo allegedly sent the last payment.
Among the councillors who allegedly received the payments is the late Willard Manyengavana, Denis Thsuma, Mhloro Tavaziva, Edward Chekure, Chisango, Andrew Tapela, Stanslous Nyachowe and Brenda Bvudzijena.
Kamambo is alleged to have also sent various amounts to Tafadzwa Mujuru, Givemore Chidhakwa, Thomas Marambanyika, Stanley Chapeta, Kudakwashe Remba, Artwell Moyo, Pithias Shoko and Francis Ntuta.
Olivarth Guvuriro, Doubt Ncube, Pervious Mathe, Ropafadzo Matemavi, Beaullar Msarah and Nkosilathi Ncube were also named in court papers as having received money from Kamambo and Matoka. The State says it is in possession of all the records of the mobile money transfers to the voters.
“Sometime in December 2018, the accused offered gifts or considerations from his number to Zifa 2018 congress voters as indicated,” the State said in an affidavit deposed in the court.
“All the gifts or considerations paid by the accused were meant to induce voters to vote for him and are all documented…
“The history of inducements paid by accused were lawfully obtained, are secured as exhibits and may be produced in court as evidence.
“The voters as indicated received and used the inducements from the accused and never returned any of them back to accused and evidence to this effect can be produced in court.”
The State alleges that all the payments made by Kamambo were bribes since there is no provision in the Zifa constitution for election candidates to pay councillors.
“There was no agreement or arrangement in place between Zifa Electoral Committee and voters entitling them to receive such consideration or gifts as indicated,” the State said.
“As a result of inducements made by accused, he received 35 votes against 24 received by complainant. Accused was declared eventual winner by Vusi Vuma, the Zifa Electoral Committee chairperson.”