ZACC revive probe into Zifa’s US$740k transfer

Eddie Chikamhi

Senior Sports Reporter

ZIFA board members have one again come under the radar of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission over the long-running saga in which US$740 000 was transferred from the association’s account into a private bank account.

Sources yesterday said the country’s corruption busters had again revived their probe into the circumstances which led to that transcation.

This matter came to light last year during a court case in which one of the association’s creditors, Daisy Lodges, sought to recover their dues which amounted to US$196 000.

Although the case appeared to have faded, in the past few months, sources said matters took a dramatic turn yesterday when ZACC officers revived their investigations into the matter.

Two ZIFA board members were invited to provide more statements in the case with the ZACC investigators also targeting to secure statements from two other leaders of the association.

“Some charges have been preferred against four ZIFA board members and two of them have already been notified while the other two are yet to be notified,’’ said the sources.

ZACC spokesperson, John Makamure, was not available for comment yesterday.

During the legal battle between ZIFA and Daisy Lodge, at the Harare Magistrate Courts, the court papers revealed that US$740 000 from the association’s Ecobank nostro account was transferred into the account linked to one of the association’s board members.

The transaction generated a lot of controversy as the association’s bank accounts had been attached by the sheriff of the High Court.

Some of the funds, the court heard, were also withdrawn by ZIFA chief executive, Joseph Mamutse, who is currently serving a suspension imposed by the Sports and Recreation Commission.

The ZIFA officials said the move was meant to protect the funds, which they had received from FIFA to fund football development in the country, from being pounced upon by a number of creditors.

The case also formed the heart of a spectacular fallout between ZIFA and the SRC late last year in which the two parties traded accusations in the public spotlight.

“Everyone knows Zimbabwe is a law-abiding country and so is ZIFA, as a juristic person living within Zimbabwe, it must also be bound by the laws of the country,’’ the association said in a strong response.

“Clearly, where one is contemptuous of a court order, the law takes its course.

“What the law does not provide for is to be twisted, to create a crime that never existed, to fulfil personal agendas and egos by some amidst us.

“ZIFA is aware that the SRC has been to several police stations several times on the same matter, as well as to ZACC, pushing an agenda that ZIFA board members were at one time in contempt of a court order involving one of its previous creditors.

“ZIFA wants to inform the nation that it never abused or ignored lawful court orders, more so the fact that a garnish order is never served from the person to which the garnish must be effected.

“Further, ZIFA never transacted in its accounts at any time when a valid court order was against it.

“This information has been made available to anyone who wants it.

“It is surprising that some who have it have attempted to create fictitious non-existent crimes.’’

The association attempted to provide clarification to the issue related to the transaction which has been the source of all the controversy.

“What ZIFA only did at one time, and legally so, was to transact from its Ecobank account when another court order existed but one that was attaching its account with the Steward Bank,’’ the association said in their statement.

“The end game, we are told and are aware of, is to have everyone within the Board in court to justify suspension of the Board.’’

The country’s national football governing body have been set to receive a further US$500 00 from FIFA as part of global efforts to breathe life into the game which has severely been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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