Zifa president Phillip Chiyangwa put pressure on the football governing body’s executive to lift the ban on his ‘friend’ Henrietta Rushwaya, the suspended chief executive officer and to have her match fixing conviction overturned, it emerged.
Zifa said in January it was lifting the devastating ban on Rushwaya and several of her alleged accomplices for lack of convincing evidence, although an Asian court proved that Rushwaya was involved in throwing several matches and punished an Indian bookmaker for it.
Rushwaya’s last hurdle will be the Zifa tribunal, which must determine if she can be given back her old job but some say ex-army officer Jonathan Mashingaidze should permanently succeed her. If the bankrupt Zifa fails to reinstate her, it might be compelled to pay her hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation.
Chiyangwa pushed the executive to finalise Rushwaya’s appeal after some convicted sportsmen and journalist Robson Sharuko were earlier pardoned while others were made to pay fines.
Observers say Rushwaya has been a disaster and should never have been involved in soccer. She was brought into football administration by her alleged lover, the late vice president Joseph Msika, who was the Zifa patron. Msika put Rushwaya in charge of the ‘Warriors Trust Fund’, a fundraising arm of the national soccer team. Vast amounts vanished from the fund, resulting in Rushwaya being unceremoniously booted out after donors accused her of theft. She was then made CEO of Zifa although she had virtually no experience of football. At Zifa, Rushwaya doled out money to journalists, including the bribe-taking Sharuko, to get good coverage.
Rushwaya is a Central Intelligence Organization operative, a position which brought her into Msika’s sights. After the Zifa scandal she ran for parliament in her Gutu home area but was defeated in the Zanu PF primaries after blowing up vast amounts on her campaign.
Recently, a website posted a video purporting to show Rushwaya having sex with popular musician Jah Prayzah. Rushwaya has become notorious for picking younger men in hotels and dating them on one-night stands.
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