Zanu PF’s protection of Rushwaya on Asiagate scandal shameful

The MDC is concerned by Johannes Tomana, the Attorney General’s failure in properly prosecuting Henrietta Rushwaya, the former Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa), Chief Executive the Zimbabwe’s chief architect, in the shameful football scandal that has become known as ‘Asiagate’.

Henrietta Rushwaya
Henrietta Rushwaya

During her reign as the Zifa CEO, Rushwaya shamelessly masterminded a total of 15 games without the authority from the association’s board and the Sports and Recreation Commission.

From these shady deals, she received more than US$1 million to throw away international matches that Zimbabwe was playing in.

Most of the matches were against minnows like; Vietnam, Jordan and Thailand but the Warriors lost after being paid huge sums of money.

She was arrested on 2 February 2012 and is facing match-fixing and bribery charges.

However, in an unprecedented move, Rushwaya this week got her passport back after it had been deposited with the Clerk of Court as part of her bail conditions on the false pretext that she wanted to travel to South Africa and Dubai on business.

Earlier, Henrietta had reportedly been put under house arrest, only for the court to turn around and claim she was asked to stay at the given address but it then turned out that she did not reside at the given address and even travelled out of the country during this period, breaching her bail conditions.

While breaching the bail conditions, the former Zifa boss visited the Middle East where some of the fixed matches were played. One cannot rule out that she interfered with the witnesses – another breach of her bail conditions.

We have therefore no doubt that Rushwaya is being protected by some people in Zanu PF where she is known as the “Iron Lady” at the expense of football and the country which were the losers because of her corruption.

As a Party, the MDC is wondering why Tomana is allowing such blatant disregard of the country’s laws to happen.

The MDC is concerned that Asiagate scandal has seriously affected the performance of the senior men’s national football team, the Warriors and put the country image into serious disrepute.

Investigations by Zifa, which the MDC fully supports, led to the suspension of 100 players who were implicated in the scam.

The players remain suspended until they are cleared by the Ethics Committee led by retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice Ahmed Ebrahim.

As the MDC, we have lost confidence on how Tomana and the Attorney General’s Office selectively apply their prosecution with Zanu PF members being immune to prosecution.

A total of 29 MDC members are currently languishing in remand prison on false charges of murder and public violence.

The People’s Party of Excellence does not condone any form of corruption and we are concerned by the continued disregard and selective application of the country laws by Tomana in order to protect corrupt Zanu PF politicians.

Post published in: Football

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