(Last Updated on March 11, 2022 by zimdaily)
HARARE – Suspended Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) president Felton Kamambo yesterday refused to represent the country’s football mother governing board in a trial on fraud charges involving US$35 000 saying he was complying with the court’s bail condition that compels him to distance himself from the association’s affairs and bars him from representing it in any form.
The fraud charges arose after allegations that Zifa and two of its executives defrauded a travel agent, Travel Genius Private Limited, in partly unpaid air tickets for two women national teams when they travelled to South Africa in August 2019. Kamambo was cited as ZIFA’s representative in the fraud case in which he is also charged in his personal capacity along with association secretary Joseph Mamutse.
Harare regional magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje barred Kamambo and two other ZIFA executives, Philemon Machana and Stanley Chapeta, from acting on behalf of the association until the matter in which they allegedly abused letterheads is finalised.
In that case, Kamambo, Machana and Chapeta are jointly charged with Mamutse and Brighton Malandule.
Yesterday, Kamambo, through lawyer Mr Chenaimoyo Gumiro, told the court that he could not represent ZIFA in the matter because of the imposed court bail conditions.
Mr Gumiro told the court that they could not start the trial since ZIFA was not being represented in the hearing.
He said the State was supposed to look for another person to represent ZIFA during the trial. “As it stands, it means ZIFA is not before the court as it is not represented. The State should subpoena ZIFA to court with another representative. The second accused (Kamambo) is not allowed to be in the vicinity of the first accused (ZIFA).
“The mandate to represent the first accused emanates from the resolution made by the committee before the court order. Once the first accused is not before you (magistrate) the trial cannot commence,” he said.
The State led by Mr Tapiwanashe Zvidzai acceded to Kamambo”s position and confirmed to Harare magistrate Mrs Barbra Mateko that there was a court order barring him from representing ZIFA.
Mr Zvidzai then applied that the matter be postponed to April 26 to allow the State to find another official to represent ZIFA during trial. The trial was then set for April 26.
It is the State’s case that in July 2019, Kamambo, who was representing ZIFA went to Travel Genius and entered into an agreement for air tickets for the two national women soccer teams to travel to South Africa the following month. Kamambo on behalf of ZIFA and in his personal capacity allegedly committed himself as a guarantor to the payment of the air tickets.
The court heard that Kamambo misrepresented to the Travel Genius that Zifa would pay for the air tickets once funds came from FIFA when he knew that they were no funds coming to Zifa.
Kakambo allegedly gave Travel Genius the list of the travelling delegation to South Africa for the two Women”s National Soccer Teams with their passport numbers and instructed the travel agent to process the air tickets.
Travel Genius allegedly raised an invoice which they gave to ZIFA before they paid US$54 164 for the air tickets.
On September 16, 2019, Kamambo and Mamutse, were signatories to ZIFA’s Ecobank account, made a Real RTGS transfer as part of payment of $20 000 into Travel Genius’s CBZ account knowing that this Zifa account had been frozen on February 13 2019 in a High Court case and could not transact.
Further allegations are that they tendered a copy of an Ecobank transfer of RTGS $20 000 , which never materialised prompting Travel Genius to make a police report.
On March 16 2020, ZIFA paid US$20 000 into Travel Genius account before they entered into a Deed of Settlement on March 19 2020 and an order of consent was granted by the High Court.
The State had it that out of the US$55 164, Travel Genius only received US$20 000.