PROSECUTORS have been given until May 24 to fix a trial date for the former ZIFA CEO Henrietta Rushwaya, who is accused of masterminding a US$1 million match fixing scandal.
Rushwaya – fired by ZIFA over the alleged corruption – faces 11 counts of concealing transactions from a principal, two counts of fraud and 15 counts of bribery.
The charges all relate to claims that national team officials and players were paid to lose friendly matches in Asia between 2007 and 2009.
But the state has on several occasions failed to bring the matter to trial claiming investigations are still ongoing, prompting Harare magistrate Anita Tshuma to set the deadline.
The court has since scrapped Rushwaya’s bail conditions and returned her passport which had been seized as part of the bail conditions.
Prosecutors now have up to May 24 to finalise their investigations failing which she will be automatically removed from remand.
Rushwaya is accused along with the former ZIFA programmes officer Jonathan Musavengana of conspiring to fix matches at the behest of an Asian betting syndicate.
Trips to trips to Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Oman, Jordan, Bulgaria, China, Thailand and Yemen were allegedly organised and funded by the leader of the syndicate, Raja Perumal, who is now jailed in Finland for match fixing activities in that country.
Prosecutors say players and team officials were instructed to concede goals at particular intervals during the games and that Rushwaya was paid US$1 million for her role in the scam.
Some 100 national Warriors players and officials have been suspended from any involvement with the national side until they are cleared by a judge-led committee established by ZIFA to probe the allegations.
The committee has since started interviewing the players with about 30 now cleared for lack of evidence. But its chairman, retired judge Ahmed Ibrahim, said some players were not cooperating with the investigations and warned they could face fines of up to US$10,000.
"We have a large base of knowledge of who participated and we may already be satisfied with who has done what,'' Ebrahim said recently.
"We have a good idea of the ring leaders ... the investigation must be thorough and impartial. There are very serious implications for individual players and officials, as well as for ZIFA itself, for the game of football and Zimbabwe's reputation.''