Nyore Madzianike Senior Court Reporter
FOUR Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) councillors who voted during the elections that saw Felton Kamambo clinching the presidency yesterday admitted in court that they received money from the football administrator, but they were not bribes to vote for him.
The councillors, who appeared in court yesterday as State witnesses, exonerated Kamambo saying he acted in the same manner that other candidates did during the build-up to the elections.
Kamambo is denying the bribery charges.
Ms Brenda Gorejena, a Women’s Football board member responsible for fixtures, told the court that she received money from Kamambo’s campaign manager, Robert Matoka, to cover transport and food expenses during the time he launched his election manifesto.
She told the court that Kamambo did not tell her to vote for him when the money was transferred into her EcoCash account.
“I met Robert Matoka when he (Kamambo) was campaigning for the Zifa presidency. He said the money was for food and transport when he invited me to his manifesto launch,” he said.
Asked during cross examination by Kamambo’s lawyer Advocate Tawanda Zhuwarara whether he did anything that was not done by other candidates during the campaign period, Ms Gorejena said:
“No. I also attended other candidates’ campaigns and I remember attending one such at Cresta Lodge in Harare on the following day where (Chamu) Chiwanza was launching his.
“I remember also attending Brighton’s campaign. I am now forgetting his surname.
“We incurred transport costs and Chiwanza gave us money as well. We were not being bribed since he was pitching a manifesto when he told us what he wanted to do for women’s football,” she said.
Ms Tafadzwa Mujuru, another women’s football board member, told the court that she received $350 from Kamambo to cover food and transport costs.
She told the court that Kamambo never indicated that the money was for bribing her to vote him into office.
Ms Mujuru said she was given the money to attend Kamambo’s election manifesto launch.
“I met Kamambo and gave me $350 for food and transport. I was staying in Chitungwiza and I think it was before voting.
“During the manifesto he told us what he wanted to do for women’s football,” she said.
Quizzed by Advocate Zhuwarara whether Kamambo asked her to vote for him when she was given the money, Ms Mujuru said the ZIFA president never asked her to vote for him.
Mr Ropafadzo Matemavi, a councillor who also voted during the elections, told the court that he received $200 from Kamambo to travel from Mutare to attend his election manifesto.
He said Kamambo did not indicate that the money was for voting for him during elections, but was for covering his travel and food expenses.
Mr Matemavi received the money through Kamambo’s campaign manager.
“Robert Matoka transferred $200 for food and transport for me to travel to where the candidate was having a meeting to launch his manifesto.
“I was coming from Mutare and I was not aware that others had been paid as well. I had not yet voted,” he said.
Mr Matemavi told the court that he felt that the $200 was enough for him to cover the expenses.
He said Kamambo did not indicate that the money was for bribing him to vote him for the president’s position.
Mr Givemore Chidhakwa, who voted during the elections, echoed the same sentiments saying he was not bribed to vote for Kamambo.
He also said the money which he was given was for covering his food and travel expenses.
Kamambo is expected back in court on December 16 and 17 for trial continuation on a continuous roll.
Deputy Chief Magistrate Mrs Bianca Makwande presided while Mr Michael Reza prosecuted.