Former Zim football chef Rushwaya charged over match fixing

Henrietta Rushwaya, former chief executive officer of the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA), was on Monday slapped with bribery and corruption charges related to a match fixing scam that has engulfed many players on the national team.

Henrietta Rushwaya
Henrietta Rushwaya

Rushwaya, who insists she is innocent, was arrested last week and released on US$500 bail Monday by Harare Magistrate Anita Tshuma, who ordered her to return to court on February 20 to stand trial. She was also instructed not to interfere with ongoing investigations and report to the police every fortnight.

The former ZIFA chef joined a long list of football players, journalists and officials who were implicated in the so-called ‘Asiagate’ scandal involving matches played between 2007 and 2009. A group of 80 players were suspended by ZIFA last week following an internal probe.

It is alleged that huge bribes were paid to those involved to cover up the fact that Zimbabwe’s national team was deliberately losing matches hosted in Asia, as part of a betting scam run by agents of Raj Perumal. The Singaporean is in jail in Finland over similar betting charges.

The suspensions and charges stem from a report produced by a four member committee led by ZIFA Vice President, Ndumiso Gumede. The report concluded that Zimbabwe lost matches to Syria and Thailand in an alleged betting scam four years ago.

National coach Norman Mapeza and assistant Joey Antipas were among those suspended last week. The list also includes Ovidy Karuru, who plays for U.S. Boulogne in France and South African based players including Thomas Sweswe and Willard Katsande of Johannesburg’s Kaizer Chiefs.

The ZIFA report recommended that players should be dealt with leniently because not all of them knew the games were fixed. But FIFA chief Sepp Blatter, during a visit to Harare last year, warned that players and officials found guilty would face life bans. – SW Radio Africa

Post published in: Football

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