|Asiagate: Monomotapa sold Tunisia match|
By Lovemore Dube-CHRONICLE
THE committee investigating the Asiagate scandal in which Warriors representative sides toured Asia and a European country between August 2007 and January 2010 established during its probe
that only Zifa councillor, who was head of delegation when Monomotapa Football Club played Etoile du Sahel in Tunisia noted something fishy during the game.
Headed by Ndumiso Gumede, the body came into being mid last year after the country’s supreme sports body, the Sport and Recreation Commission, ordered Zifa to investigate how the Warriors had travelled to Malaysia without authority in December 2009. The committee noted that those who had travelled a number of times became active participants in the scam which resulted in a Warriors’ freefall in the Fifa world rankings.
Part of findings reads; “ Therefore after one game then they became very active members of the syndicate and that could be the reason why not even one official came back home and made a report officially to Zifa authorities about these evil happenings.
“It is only Onisimo Makwengura on the Monomotapa FC trip to Tunisia, who came back and alerted the authorities that ‘something’ was very untoward in our football.”
Makwangura’s evidence was later to be collaborated by former Monomotapa captain Mthulisi Maphosa who assaulted club manager Clayton Munemo over his and head coach Rodwell Dhlakama’s alleged roles in the defeat to Etoile du Sahel in a Champions League match in 2009. Munemo is alleged to have been on the phone for the better part of the match.
Former Dynamos and PSL official Godfrey Japajapa, a Solomon Makuvaro, and a Mukweva, both former Zifa councillors, fired national association chief executive officer Henrietta Rushwaya, Northern Region Zifa boss and the association’s board member Solomon Mugavazi, a co-director at Monomotapa and former Monoz manager Bekithemba Ndlovu were among some of the people who travelled as head of delegations and raised no issues about the involvement of betting syndicates.
Jonathan Musavengana, against standing Zifa policy, headed one of the delegations despite being an employee of Zifa. The association policy has always been that councillors travel as head of teams.
Mthulisi Maphosa’s submission of what happened in Tunisia in the Asiagate Report:
“We travelled safely. Everyone expected us to win in Tunisia as we had won the first game in Zimbabwe.
“What surprised me was that our coach Rodwell Dhlakama and team manager Clayton Munemo always emphasised on resting before every match we played but on our first day of arrival, the coach went to the beach and all the players went there too as if we were on a picnic.
“The following day the coach told us that the ‘team talk’ would be at six o’clock but we waited for him for almost an hour. I kept asking the team manager why the coach wasn’t coming.
“As the captain of the team, I ordered another player, but I can’t remember who it was, to go and look for the coach and the guy said there was no one in his room. The team manager kept on saying we should be patient as the coach was coming and no one should complain because the coach is the boss. A boss is never late but delayed. “This led me to suspect Dhlakama was up to something. When Dhlakama came, he repeated the same statement.
“Dhlakama just talked briefly but he’s someone who normally talks for an hour or so. I just thought maybe because we were behind time that was why he was brief but later to discover that they had sold the game to the betting syndicates.
“Our goalkeeper Godfrey Mangove, Vorster Chitemu and Luckmore Simango had briefed me about what transpired when they went to Malaysia where they had posed as the national team that they threw games. Mangove was the captain in Malaysia as I wasn’t there because I had an injury. They told me that he was the one (Mangove) who was talking with the guy who was giving them money after the games.
“He told me that the guy would give them signals when to concede a goal.
“That day against Etoile du Sahel it was raining so the pitch was a bit slippery. We conceded our first goal around 12-15 minutes from the start. The goal was a very soft one. Our goalkeeper slipped and fell on the ground while the ball went high, even a small boy could have avoided that goal.
“I went to pick up the ball from the nets encouraging the guys that we could even go on to win the game.
“To my surprise the goalkeeper, who I new that everytime he concedes a goal gets angry, was in that instance smiling. ‘What’s going on?’ I asked myself but couldn’t get the answer.
“Then came the second goal. Our defenders tried an offside trap, the striker penetrated coming from midfield so it wasn’t offside. That striker came face to face with the goalkeeper and hit the post. No defender made an effort and the striker took the ball and again another soft goal, in my opinion.
“I got injured and the referee had to stop the game so that I could be treated. While being treated on the pitch, Taurai Mangwiro, who was the assistant coach, came to me and said I should tell the boys that there’s still plenty of time we could even win the game as we were having an upper hand.
“Dhlakama called Vorster Chitemu and said to him ‘kwasara one’. I didn’t understand what he meant. Then after the game, as usual the coach and captain are the ones who go for after match conferences.
“When they were preparing the chairs Dhlakama answered a call in English. After that call, he said to me Sisi called (and) she was just telling him that we were supposed to lose three-nil so we had lost some money. I then asked him who Sisi was and he said Henrietta Rushwaya.
“Clayton Munemo was standing at the door of the conference room. I stormed out of the conference room shouting that they had used us. ‘We came all the way from Zimbabwe wanting a victory and them and a few players gained money by selling the game without our knowledge. I’m going to tell other players’. Munemo said I should calm down as this wasn’t the best place to discuss that kind of thing. I told other players that some of us, meaning every man who had played, had sold the game. If they don’t come out I would personally tell Mugavazi and Sibanda, the directors of the team.
“That is when the guys on the bench said definitely something was happening because Clayton Munemo never sat on the bench as every three or so minutes he was on the phone speaking in English. They even said they suspect that it must be the guys from Malaysia they saw when they played as the national team.
“When we reached the hotel we called the whole technical department for a meeting in my room. When they came I told the coaches that they had let us down by involving themselves in shoddy deals at our expense.
“Taurai Mangwiro said he was not part of it as he was surprised to hear Dlakama telling Vorster that they should concede another goal. Clayton kept on saying we lost as a team and we should not blame each other. I then told him how our goalkeeper conceded the first goal. Clayton ended up accusing me of inciting others guys to revolt.