Kamambo Admits To 'Reimbursing' ZIFA Councillors
Suspended Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) president Felton Kamambo, who is facing multiple bribery charges, admits to paying ZIFA councillors, not bribing them.
Kamambo filed an application for discharge after the close of the State case, with the presiding magistrate, Bianca Makwande, expected to make a ruling this Wednesday.
The State, led by Michael Reza, closed its case on Kamambo’s last appearance, after summoning 12 witnesses to give evidence against the suspended ZIFA boss.
In his application for discharge, Kamambo told the court that the prosecution failed to prove its case on the essential elements of bribery. He said:
All the State witnesses denied ever being induced in any way by the accused.
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All the State witnesses denied ever receiving consideration from the accused for them to vote in a particular way in the election.
All the State witnesses denied ever receiving a gift from the accused.
As such, there is no evidence to prove the essential element of inducement with consideration of cash from the accused.
… They said it was reimbursement of expenses incurred in transport and food for purposes of attending the campaign rallies he held.
It is also crucial to note that the accused had no way of knowing how the people had voted. It was a secret vote.
Kamambo further argued that reimbursing money used during the campaign period does not constitute criminal conduct. He said:
The ZIFA statutes do not outlaw such payments. The FIFA statutes referred to by the State do not criminalise such conduct.
As such, there are no known statutes that regulate the conduct of candidates during the campaign period.
In response to Kamambo’s application for discharge, Reza argued that the State had managed to prove a prima facie case.
He told the court that there was evidence on record that shows both Kamambo and his campaign manager, Robert Matoka, paid various amounts using Ecocash, to ZIFA agents, who were going to vote for the ZIFA president.