The Sunday Mail
ZIFA president Felton Kamambo’s case, through which he is facing charges of bribing his way to the presidency, is raging on after the State opposed his application for an exception to the charges.
Kamambo, through his lawyer Advocate Tawanda Zhuwarara, filed his application earlier last week.
He stands accused of paying some ZIFA councillors to vote for him during the association’s elections in December 2018.
On Friday, Prosecutor Michael Reza filed his submissions opposing the exception application ahead of the oral hearing before Harare regional magistrate Mr Trynois Utahwashe on Thursday.
“The State is opposed to the application by the accused person on the basis that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the charge preferred against the accused person. The accused person is charged with contravening Section 170 (1) (b) (ii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 as more fully appears on the charge sheet and State outline of the record.
“A reading of the application by the defence appears to solely centre around whether or not the persons allegedly bribed by the accused person were ‘agents’ and, if so, whose ‘agents’.
“The State believes that everyone who received money from the accused person or from his former campaign manager were agents as anticipated in Section 170 (1)(b)(ii) of the Code,’’ read part of Reza’s submission.
“Were the recipients of money agents? Yes, they were, and this is how: Section 169 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 defines an ‘agent’ to include a person acting for another person in any capacity whatsoever includes a member of a board, committee or other authority which is responsible for administering the affairs of the business of a body corporate or association.
“It is common cause that ZIFA is an association, registered as such in terms of Section 29 of the Sports and Recreation Commission Act.”
The State claims that all the 58 ZIFA members — who include 18 PSL clubs, four Division One regions, 10 province members, among others — are “legal persons and can therefore only act through agents or delegates who are natural persons”.
It claims, therefore, that they can only act through agents/delegates.
“At law, the allegedly bribed persons (ZIFA councillors) were the literal interpretation of Section 170 as read with Section 169 of the Code . . . none of them was acting or entitled to act and vote exclusively on his behalf, but on behalf of a ZIFA member that sends the agent/delegate.
“This is why the offering of money on the pretext that it is for food or fuel is purely criminal because these costs are fully borne by the member that sends the agent/delegate,” the State argues.
Reza said although Kamambo knew fully well “that the persons who were to come and vote on the 1 December 2018 were agents of ZIFA members”, he transferred money via EcoCash to the agents listed on the schedule on the charge sheet. “The State contends that the timing of the payments, the fairly similar amounts and the status of the recipients can only point to bribery.
“In view of the foregoing, the charges are very clear, not ambiguous and the accused can therefore properly plead to the charges,’’ he said.