The cartel that hatched plans to manipulate results of Zimbabwe’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers against Swaziland had targeted defenders Eric Chipeta and Costa Nhamoinesu in their bid to manufacture Warriors defeats, it has been learnt. BY Kevin Mapasure
According to information forming part of Zifa’s case against the suspects in the latest match fixing scandal to hit the country’s game, former Warriors coach, Ian Gorowa had been tasked with talking to the players to throw the match for monetary rewards.
Zifa has goalkeeper Tatenda Mukuruva as one of its witnesses, who alleges he was approached by Gorowa to throw the match and he informed coach, Kalisto Pasuwa.
The football mother body also claims to possess text messages implicating Gorowa was defining his role in the cartel that Zifa contends, former chief executive officer Henrietta Rushwaya, was the kingpin.
Gorowa is implicated by an email sent to Edzayi Kasinauyo by Rushwaya confirming that he was part of them.
Nhamoinesu, who plies his trade for Sparta Prague in the Czech Republic, and Chipeta, who is based in South Africa, are expected to form the mainstay of the Warriors defence when they play Swaziland on March 25 in Mbabane and three days later in Harare.
Zifa does not have any evidence of the two defenders being approached, but their key witness, Leroy Waguta, who claims to have been recruited by Rushwaya as a runner, talking to and paying players among other things, told the mother body that Nhamoinesu and Chipeta were some of the key targets.
According to Zifa reports, Rushwaya was responsible for recruiting Gorowa, Kasinauyo and Warriors assistant coach, Nation Dube. Zifa believes she produced her own report in an effort to exonerate herself and her alleged accomplices.
Zifa questioned her involvement in the investigation, since she represents neither Fifa, Caf, Zifa, the Sports Recreation Commission, Safa, Cosafa, any Zimbabwean nor South African security authority.
According to reports seen by NewsDay Sports, her report was clearly designed to exonerate herself and her accomplices.
Zifa president, Philip Chiyangwa has assigned Advocate Lewis Uriri as the chief prosecutor in the match-fixing scandal.
Chiyangwa confirmed the development yesterday just before he left the country for South Africa, where the FA was invited by authorities in that country for a meeting over the match-fixing scandal.
“We have appointed Uriri as the chief prosecutor after his role in the Asiagate investigation,” Chiyangwa said.
“We are not concerned about Rushwaya and Terry Steans’ funny stories, we have our evidence and we have a strong case against match-fixers.”
Rushwaya produced a report claiming to have been conducting an undercover investigation to nail match-fixers, which Zifa has dismissed.
Chiyangwa and Zifa chief executive officer, Jonathan Mashingaidze will meet Safa president Danny Jordaan and South Africa’s Sports minister Fikile Mbalula in Cape Town today.
Safa has since reported the matter to the police and the likes of Gorowa, Kasinauyo, Rushwaya and players plying their trade in the South African Premier League, who include Zimbabweans Patson Jaure and goalkeeper Geroge Chigova face arrest.
Safa is conducting its own investigations and they have promised to share with their Zimbabwean counterparts anything relevant to them.
Zifa has since volunteered information on match-fixing in South Africa’s topflight league, which Safa and the police in that country will use as evidence.
Chigova, who is alleged to have been paid $15 000 to let in goals in a match against Wits University that his team lost 5-0, has denied the allegations.
His club, Polokwane City said the player had denied fixing matches, but they expressed concern at the allegations.