Editorial comment: Kamambo exorcises his ghost

FOR four years, former ZIFA president, Felton Kamambo, had a burden which he carried every day and night.

He was battling allegations that he allegedly bribed 32 ZIFA Councillors to vote for him when he beat businessman Philip Chiyangwa for the association’s presidency in 2018.

Kamambo insisted that while he paid the money, it wasn’t for bribery but it was meant to cover the expenses which these Councillors incurred when they attended his meetings.

The business executive held those meetings to lay out his vision for ZIFA and lure them into his corner so that they would cast their votes in his favour.

Kamambo was acquitted after a full trial by magistrate Bianca Makwande.

The magistrate, in analysing the evidence brought forward, said the State failed to prove the essential elements of bribery.

The essential elements are that a person must give an agent a gift or consideration, the gift must be an inducement or reward for doing or failing to do any act in relation to the principal’s affairs and the person must do this knowing that this inducement or reward is not due to the agent in terms of his agreement with the principal.

The law further defines an agent as a person employed by or acting for another in any capacity whatsoever. 

Throughout the trial, Kamambo through his lawyer Admire Rubaya, argued that the State failed to prove the essential element of “agent”. 

He argued that though the evidence shows that the delegates were voters, there is no evidence to prove that they were agents and it was not proved whose agents they were. 

For Kamambo, this is a huge relief as it means that he will remain in the football trenches and, if he wants, he can put his name forward to be the next ZIFA president.

If he had been found guilty, it would have been the end for him in football as he would have been ineligible to take any post in the game in the country.

He would also have been banned by FIFA from participating in any capacity in the game anywhere in the world.

There could also have been consequences for him at his work place, the GMB, where he holds a senior post.

There was nowhere the GMB, a parastatal, would have retained him as a senior manager when he was a man who had been convicted of bribery.

In the worst case scenario, Kamambo would have been sent to prison.

We respect the courts and we feel Kamambo deserves his relief after all the torture he endured in the last four years.

That is the beauty of justice.

This case should also help our football deal with the issues related to ethics when it comes to elections.

The game should be clear about what the voters should and should not receive from those who want to be leaders of the game.

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