…as Zifa suspends two officials, orders them pay back US$5 000
MASVINGO— Local football mother body Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) has ordered two of its suspended officials to pay back over US$5 000 to four Ghanaian players whom they duped into travelling to the country and sign-up for a non-existent club.
Masvingo provincial vice chairperson Energy Zava and finance member-in-charge Tinashe Gomba were recently each slapped with a five-year ban from all football-related activities and were ordered to reimburse the players whom they swindled.
TellZim reported a few weeks ago how the two corruption-accused officials were digging in their heels when made to account for their actions.
The accused duo did not turn up for the hearing, with Zava having earlier requested for a rescheduling but still failed to turn up when his request was granted.
Gomba is said to have refused to turn up for the hearing, claiming his lawyer was busy with something else.
The two, who deny the charges, had their disciplinary hearing conducted at the Masvingo Zifa office on August 07, 2020.
In passing the ruling, the disciplinary committee noted that the two had committed a heinous crime which was tantamount to human trafficking.
“The deeds of the accused persons are no different from the criminal contact of human traffickers. Young and innocent footballers between the age of 23 to 24 years of age were plucked from their families and homes and further swindled of money through elements of misrepresentation, fraud and forgery and dumped in a foreign land without proper accommodation, medical aid or care and turned into beggers in a foreign land,” reads part of the judgment which TellZim had the privilege to see.
The two officials were ordered to pay US$1 300 to each of the four Ghanaians in cash.
“The first and second accused persons are ordered to contribute equally in restituting US$1 300 to each of the following Ghanaian players; Nelson Atsu Adenyo, Peter Tibilla, Francis Adjetey and John Adu Poku. A total of US$5 200 to be given in cash within 30 days of the issuing of this order,” reads the judgment.
The four Ghanaians were prejudiced by Gomba and Zava through a fake letter signed by Wellington Muchemwa, the former provincial football boss, inviting the players to a non-existent club called Khaya Africa FC supposedly based in Chiredzi.
The players were dumped in Chiredzi where they were offered petty deals by the duo and three of them are reportedly still stuck in the sugar-producing town while one has returned to Ghana.