Asiagate closure delayed

Staff Writer

FINALISATION of the Asiagate scandal will be further delayed by another month after the emergence of new evidence.
The ad hoc disciplinary committee led by retired judge, Justice Ahmed Ebrahim, in a press statement announced that the process would take a month longer to be concluded.

 
Zifa president Cuthbert Dube recently announced that the process was nearing completion but eight more witnesses have come forward and will have to be interviewed.

 
“We have to advise you that we thought that we had largely completed our hearings, having recorded affidavits and heard oral evidence from some 100 officials, players and adminstrators,” reads the statement. “Regrettably, following a further hearing held on Monday 6 August, that is no longer the position, as a list of a further eight possible witnesses have emerged. These witnesses are likely to throw further light on, and additional information relating to, corrupt activities which involve some of the football personalities from this country.”

 
The committee also said it had faced problems in interviewing other witnesses who chose to stay away.

 
“We should say that we have been faced with considerable obstacles during the course of the inquiry. In particular, certain individuals have made every effort to avoid appearing before us to assist us in our deliberations. We have had to resort to serving them with notices to appear before us, through the offices of the Deputy Sheriff. Even then some have failed to appear.”

 
The committee will, however, go ahead with its investigation even if some witnesses and suspects refuse to cooperate.

 
The conclusion of investigations had brought hope that some players would be exonerated and allowed to play for the national team again.

 
At least 80 players are suspended from the national team owing to their suspected participation in the scandal.

 
According to the statement the committee has sifted through 4 500 emails and is expected to produce a report of no less than 1 500 pages, excluding those emails.

 
One of the suspects, Henrietta Rushwaya, who was Zifa CEO during the time of the alleged scandal, has sought to have the disciplinary committee recused from the hearings. The matter is in the High Court.

 
“The evidence which was recorded during the course of this investigation has to be transcribed and delivered to a printer in a form in which we would like to be presented to Zifa and ultimately Fifa.”

 
Among the suspended Warriors players are Thomas Sweswe, Method Mwanjali, Tafadzwa Rusike, Mathew Rusike and Nyasha Mushekwi.