Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
SUSPENDED ZIFA board member Edzai Kasinauyo has been accused of invading the private business premises of the association’s president, Philip Chiyangwa, on Wednesday, begging for mercy and to be pardoned. ZIFA chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze revealed this in a letter he sent to Kasinauyo’s lawyers, Mhishi Legal Practice yesterday, as the association insisted that the board member’s suspension was done above board.
Kasinauyo is accused of being a member of a match-fixing cartel that was, among other things, targeting manipulating the results of the 2017 Nations Cup qualifiers between Zimbabwe and Swaziland.
He denies the allegations and yesterday held a media conference where he promised to continue to fight to clear his name. Addressing journalists at a Press conference in Harare yesterday, Kasinauyo, said his hands were clean.
“I deny an involvement in any unlawful activities and in the spirit of transparency, I have and will continue to make myself available for any enquiries or any processes that may be instituted by local and international football governing bodies, or in any other entity,” said Kasinauyo.
“I shall remain loyal both to the laws of the land and regulations that govern football as I have always from the beginning of my career to the date of hanging my football boots as a player.
“I shall continue, without fear or favour, to represent the interests of football in this country including those of the very important people who voted me into office. I have not acted in any manner that borders on match-fixing, corruption or unprofessional conduct and shall continue to use the experience gained from the leagues to further the professional administration of football in this country,” said Kasinauyo.
On Thursday, his lawyers demanded that ZIFA furnish them with the evidence they used to implicate him in the match-fixing scandal by 1100 hours yesterday or face the urgent High Court showdown where he will challenge his suspension from the domestic football’s leadership.
And yesterday he said he was still waiting for feedback from his lawyers.
“The lawyers are the ones handling that side of things, they are busy with it and I should be getting feedback on how they look to go forward with it,” Kasinauyo said.
Kasinauyo expressed disappointment on the recent developments after spending most of his years in football.
“It’s a pity, I have worked very hard ever since I started playing football as a junior player and graduating into the senior team for CAPS United, working very hard to go and play outside. And at the same time to be part of the national team.
“I think it takes a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice were at the end of the day it becomes so paining, you can actually after all those years of sacrifice, be in a situation where I am now, being accused of match-fixing.
“I can’t believe it,” said Kasinauyo. But ZIFA said that Kasinauyo’s suspension was above aboard. The association’s chief executive, Mashingaidze, said ZIFA were unhappy that the letter from Kasinauyo’s lawyers challenging his suspension was first delivered to the media.
“We refer to your letter only served at our offices on the 11th of March 2016 after you had widely published the letter in the local newspapers,” Mashingaidze said in his letter to Kasinauyo’s lawyers, Mhishi Legal Practice.
“Firstly, we wish to express our concern with your conduct in delivering a letter addressed to us to media houses before serving us the letter. Whatever your motive in doing so, we find your conduct in that regard to be highly deplorable and unprofessional.
“We shall notify the Law Society of our displeasure in having its registered member dispatching a letter to media houses before serving the intended recipients as we believe that it is serious ethical misconduct.
“Your contention that your client’s suspension is not procedural is obviously without factual or legal merit. We are surprised at the manner in which your client, and indeed, yourselves have manifested absolute ignorance of elementary provisions of the ZIFA constitution.
“With respect, it would be expected that a person privileged to be a member of the ZIFA Executive Committee, together with a duly registered legal practitioner, would take time to acquaint themselves with the provisions of the ZIFA constitution before hastily writing an ill-advised letter devoid of substance.
“Contrary to your claims, your client was provisionally suspended by a lawfully mandated Executive Committee consequent to a decision of the Emergency Committee in terms of Article 40 of the ZIFA constitution.
“There is no requirement for any notice to be given before the convening of the meeting of the Emergency Committee. In terms of Article 40, your client has no right to invitation and participation in the Executive Committee.
“Further, your demand for evidence and legal threat to sue is both premature and of no legal consequence. Your client shall be fully afforded the full evidence arising out of the investigation and an opportunity to defend himself before the Disciplinary Committee in terms of the ZIFA constitution.
“There is no amount of threats that can deter ZIFA from fully pursuing the extremely serious allegations faced by your client. Please note that your client is not doing himself any favours by flagrantly violating terms of his suspension through his desperate approaches to members of the Executive Committee begging for pardon as he did on the 9th of March 2016 when he invaded the private offices of the ZIFA president.”