Nyore Madzianike Senior Court Reporter
ZIMBABWE Football Association (ZIFA) board members Felton Kamambo, Farai Jere, Phillimon Machana and Brighton Malandule will know their fate tomorrow when Harare Magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje makes a ruling on application for exception to charges where they allegedly transferred judicial funds into a private account.
The four are charged with obstructing the course of justice. The quartet, through Advocate Tawanda Zhuwarara, applied to be excepted to the charges saying the Supreme Court ruled that there was no order compelling them not to transfer the money.
They also argued that the State had failed to furnish them with the court that bars them from transferring money from ZIFA’s Ecobank account.
“The State confirmed that there was no garnishee order which confirms that funds were not to be transferred,” he said.
“The transfer of money itself is not a crime, even if it is proved that money was transferred, it does not constitute an offence.
“The only time he is not allowed to transfer money is when there is an order. As long as there is no garnishee, I can transfer until a garnishee has been issued” he said.
Adv Zhuwarara argued that an attempt to attach money from ZIFA’s Ecobank account by the sheriff was not a judicial proceeding.
He argued that the sheriff was not an officer of the court whose functions are restricted to administration.
“There is a Supreme Court order which said the Ecobank account could not have been attached during those dates.
“Supreme Court said it could not be under garnishee on account of Daisy Lodges and nobody was stopped from attaching Steward Bank accounts,” submitted Advocate Zhuwarara.
The State led by Mr Tafara Chirambira, in response, told the court that the ZIFA board had no right to transfer the money since judicial proceedings had commenced.
Mr Chirambira said the sheriff realised that funds had been moved after approaching Ecobank to attach the funds and the bank failed to cooperate because of the absence of a court order.
He said it will be proved in court during trial that the ZIFA board members moved judicial funds, especially at a time when proceedings to attain the order had commenced.
“Armed with an order that came as a result of judicial proceedings, the Sheriff proceeded to Steward Bank and was told there was no money.
“He then proceeded to Ecobank which did not cooperate and refused saying it was not cited in order.
“The sheriff returned to the High Court and went through the process and eventually the order was granted,” he said.