Warriors coach, Kalisto Pasuwa yesterday revealed the fallout between players and his former assistant, Nation Dube over payments after allegedly fixing matches at this year’s African Nations Championship (Chan) tournament, which was held in Rwanda. BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Pasuwa made the claims in court yesterday, while he was testifying in a matter where former (Zifa) chief executive, Henrietta Rushwaya, former Zifa board member, Edzai Kasinauyo and Dube are being charged with match-fixing and bribery.
Pasuwa told the court he only came to know of the match-fixing scandal following a tip-off from whistleblower, Leroy Waguta via WhatsApp messages, well after the tournament.
Upon being asked by the defence lawyer, Simon Mupindu, if he took Waguta’s messages seriously, Pasuwa said, initially, he did not, but later he took the whistleblower seriously when he revealed the details and agenda of the coaches’ meeting with Kasinauyo.
“At first, I did not believe the messages, but when Waguta told us what we discussed in our meeting, we started believing,” Pasuwa said.
“While in the meeting, Kasinauyo wanted me to release the names of the players that would play before the right time.”
The Warriors boss also told the court that he intended to gather more evidence to enable him to nail the suspects, but the move was scuttled by suspended Zifa technical director, Takaendesa Jongwe, who reported the matter before they could gather any other tangible evidence.
Pasuwa further told the court that Waguta informed him that former Warriors coach, Ian Gorowa, was tasked to look for goalkeeper, Tatenda Mukuruva’s mobile number so he could invite him to South Africa on the pretext that they wanted to organise trials for him and would give him $2 000 for groceries.
Pasuwa said he then phoned Mukuruva and advised him of the call and what was to be discussed beforehand.
“I told Mukuruva that he would receive a call from Gorowa, who would ask him to go to South Africa for trials and after a day, Mukuruva advised me that Gorowa had contacted him. I had told him that he should record whatever they would say to him, so we may know what they wanted.”
After Pasuwa’s evidence, another State witness, former Zifa chief executive officer, Jonathan Mashingaidze, told the court that he reported the matter to the police as per the board’s resolution.
Mashingaidze told the court that Waguta was the only person with enough information to nail the suspects, since he (Mashingaidze) was only relying on WhatsApp messages provided by Pasuwa.
Allegations against the suspects are that between January and February this year, Rushwaya, while working in cahoots with Kasinauyo, Gorowa and Dube, was involved in match-fixing targeting the South African Premier Soccer League.
It is alleged, Rushwaya, together with Waguta, who later turned out to be a whistleblower, were working in connivance with Chan Sankran, a well-known Asian match fixer, who was the financier. It is alleged that the group intended to fix the two Zimbabwe versus Swaziland 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The suspects have since pleaded not guilty to the charges and dismissed the allegations as unfounded.
The matter was remanded to October 13 for continuation.
Timothy Makoni appeared for the State.