Kamambo blames Chiyangwa for charges

Zvikomborero Parafini 

FORMER ZIFA president Felton Kamambo has claimed that charges of bribery against him stem from bad blood between him and his predecessor Phillip Chiyangwa. 

Kamambo, who is facing multiple bribery allegations, told magistrate Bianca Makwande yesterday that Chiyangwa interfered with the ZIFA electoral process in an attempt to ensure that he lost.

He said due to Chiyangwa’s meddling, he was only advised that he was eligible to participate in the elections 13 days before the December 18, 2018, vote. 

Kamambo denied claims that he rigged the election by bribing voters.

“For one to succeed as a candidate for the presidency one should secure three signatures, but there was an instruction for them not to sign for me. Those that signed in support of me were called to ZIFA and intimidated.

“The chairman for Harare City called me saying he intended to withdraw his signature; the secretary of the Northern Region Division managed to withstand the pressure while the third one was from Harare Province and he called me saying he had been intimidated. During the campaign period, he ended up leaving for South Africa,” said Kamambo.

He said because there wasn’t enough time for him to campaign, he wrote to FIFA, the electoral committee and Zifa advising them that he would gather people in their respective regions and campaign.

“FIFA acknowledged receipt of the letter, while ZIFA and its electoral committee stamped the letter.”

He held campaign meetings in Gweru, Bulawayo and Mutare.

Kamambo told the court that the paid monies in question were to those who attended his meetings as reimbursements for food, accommodation and transportation to the meetings.

Asked how he conducted the meetings and how he decided who was reimbursed and how much, Kamambo said:

“The delegates would tell me how much I was to reimburse them through the coordinators and I didn’t have any means to know if the monies were inflated or not because I didn’t know where they came from.

“The other reason was that people were being paid $300 for attending Zifa meetings so we just maintained that amount.”

Kamambo further denied accusations that he rigged the election by bribing the voters saying he actually lost the election as he failed to get the minimum number of votes and ended up being elected unopposed.

“In the first round I got 34 votes, while Chiyangwa got 20 something, and for one to be declared the outright winner, they needed 40 votes. 

“I didn’t win the elections, but I became president because there was no contestant as Chiyangwa withdrew in the first round. 

“In the first round Chiyangwa didn’t expect me to get those votes because during his campaigns, he would say he couldn’t be beaten by someone from a parastatal and during the counting of the votes, he was visibly shocked and realised that I needed only six votes to get to 40.

“It’s my conviction that he didn’t proceed to the second round because of that,” he said.

Kamambo’s lawyer submitted the ZIFA constitution and code of ethics which state that football related matters shouldn’t be tried in a criminal court.

The trial continues today.

Michael Reza appeared for the State.

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