Chiyangwa in trouble over $30,000 Zifa withdrawals

Phillip Chiyangwa
FORMER Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa is in trouble following a cocktail of allegations in which he is accused of stealing money from the association’s bank account, fraud, abuse of office and misappropriation of funds.

Chiyangwa was the Zifa president until December last year when he lost to Felton Kamambo in an election.

However, months after he had ceased to be the leader of the association, Chiyangwa allegedly went on to withdraw a total of US$30 000 from a Zifa Ecobank foreign currency account without authority.

A bank statement, seen by NewsDay Sport, shows that Chiyangwa on three occasions made withdraws of US$10 000 in February this year, over two months after he had been dislodged.

The records show that on February 13, he withdrew US$10 000, before returning the following day to take out a similar amount.

Zifa, through their lawyers Ngarava, Moyo and Chikono, reported the case, among others, to the Commercial Crimes Unit (CCU) at the Harare Central Police Station on November 20. The case’s docket reference number is 39/11/19.

“We are instructed to, as we hereby do, lodge our complaint for further handling and investigations by yourselves on behalf of our client against Philip Chiyangwa, who is the former president of Zifa. Our client has a genuine belief that the acts detailed hereunder and allegedly committed by Mr Chiyangwa constitute a criminal offence and that he should be prosecuted.”

“Mr P Chiyangwa made some several cash withdrawals from the Zifa Ecobank foreign currency (Nostro) account between January 2019 and February 2019. The monies withdrawn by him were committed to his personal use since they were not remitted to Zifa. Further, the withdrawals were done without the approval and authorisation of the duly elected Zifa executive committee.

“Bank statements in support of the cash withdrawals shall be availed to you upon demand on request. To date, our client has not received the money withdrawn by Mr P Chiyangwa. The cash withdrawals were done in the sum of US$10 000 per transaction.”

Before reporting the case, Zifa wrote to Chiyangwa on September 2, requesting an explanation. He didn’t respond, prompting the association to make a police report.

“We have come across fishy transactions that were carried out directly for your benefit and at your instigation and in most cases also signed by you as one of the then signatories (before December 2018), and in 2019 when you had long ceased to be an official of Zifa as well as a signatory. We have a report of these dubious transactions but would want your side of the story before we take the necessary decisive steps.

“We have observed that you personally went on various occasions between January and February to the FA’s bankers to withdraw hard US dollar cash irrespective of the fact that you ceased to be a Zifa authorised signatory after your election loss in December 2018 and that Zifa had not completed any indemnity forms to allow you such access to its bank accounts and resources.

“Kindly, therefore, explain the circumstances that led you to carry out such irregular transactions. Also equally, explain and provide documentary proof on the basis of your withdrawals and any justification for what would appear outrightly criminal on the face value. We have perused our documents and have not seen where you may have advanced US dollars to the FA to the tune of the amounts you withdrew, neither have we seen any services that you provided which may have warranted your illegal self-help actions,” read part of the letter which was written to Chiyangwa.

In the same police report, Zifa also made other charges against Chiyangwa bordering on criminal abuse of power, fraud and misappropriation of the association’s funds and resources.

Late last month, Chiyangwa pressed charges against Kamambo and his deputy Philemon Machana after the two sent him text messages that the politician said caused him “annoyance”.

Kamambo’s messages that got him into trouble read; “Hie president. You are urged to stop your funny and negative interferences with football. Meanwhile, urgently start accounting for all Zifa money you stole.”

When contacted to respond to the allegations, Chiyangwa through his lawyer Itai Ndudzo initially said: “Blatant nonsense peddled by confused low-lifers. During my term as Zifa president I donated millions to keep the game going. I did not take a cent back. I am too blessed to steal. How could I take money from a bank account that I am not a signatory? Let us be serious please. Check the 2016, 2017, 2018 audited accounts for Zifa, they are self speaking to how squeaky clean I am. I have no time for this hogwash. I have multi-million-dollar businesses to run.”

However, later Chiyangwa personally responded saying: “On the morning of the elective congress I went to the Zifa Village to pay serious money to the U-23 team that had come back and were threatening to come demonstrate at the congress. I paid that plus other debts outstanding.

“I was no longer signatory, ask those who conjured the payment as to why did they pay since I was no longer a signatory or executive. I bankrolled Zifa with friends as well as that it accrued significant debts to me. This is a clear story from those who have not told you why they signed payments to me after my term.”

Chiyangwa said he had instructed his lawyer to take appropriate legal action on those levelling criminal allegations against him.

Source – newsday



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