Read the highlighted part of this interview with regards to the Zimbabwe club team conning the FA of Malaysia as being the national team. Malay Mail Journalist Haresh Deol had highlighted this matter and the response from FAM at that time and recently was that they were not aware that it was a club team.
But this tells a totally different story, that Malaysia came to know about it and were upset. If so why was the match not called off? Why did FAM not come clean if they knew after the match was played since it is now clear that Malaysia knew about their status of being merely a club?
HOPE CHIZUZU, a local journalist, was one of the key people interviewed by the Zifa committee tasked with investigating Asiagate. Chizuzu travelled with Monomotapa, both as a journalist and an official of the club, during their trip to Malaysia in 2009 where they stand accused of masquerading as the Warriors.
Monoz played two games, and lost both matches, in matches whose international A status has already been revoked by Fifa. Chizuzu met the investigating committee in Harare on March 25, this year, at about 10:20 am.
This is a report, by the committee as contained in their final report, of their interview with Chizuzu. There is no written submission by Chizuzu in the report.
Hope Chizuzu – Journalist And Monomotapa FC Official (10.20hrs – 25/03/2011)
Question – In what capacity did you travel with Monomotapa and what else can you tell this committee about the Asia games match-fixing?
Chizuzu – When I went with Monoz, I was putting on many hats, I was a journalist and also a Monomotapa FC consultant.
Question – When we started investigating the initial Malaysia trip of December of December 2009, you were very much outspoken against it. What was the reason for it? Where you given a gag order and, therefore, wanted issues not to be talked about?
Chizuzu – I was never given a gag order and it is generally difficult to give a gag order to me. I say out my mind as I see things. I believe in the truth, irrespective (of) how it might hurt other people. To me, the truth must always prevail.
Question – Fine then, how did you come to be involved in the Monomotapa trip to Malaysia?
Chizuzu – I had just come into the country from Zambia and got a phone call from Solomon Mugavazi telling me that we were leaving on that day’s evening (flight) to play two games in Malayia.
He said that the plane, Air Zim, was leaving that evening, via Singapore. Mugavazi said that the Zifa CEO had organised for Monoz to try and raise finances for preparations for the African Champions League. As Monoz, by then, we had big financial challenges and, obviously, this was a welcome relief as the team was going to get a free camping period and all expenses paid for by the organisers and, as Monoz, we were also going to get a lump sum for participating in the two games.
Question – Who was the HOD and everyone else in the delegation?
Chizuzu – Mugavazi was the HOD, Bhekimpilo “Far” Ndlovu was the treasurer, myself as an executive committee member (consultant), Rodwell Dhlakama was the head coach, Taurai (Manwgiro) as the assistant coach, Clayton Munemo, as the team manager. Musavenga was in charge of the trip and was also representing the hosting FA.
Question – Where were your visas organised?
Chizuzu – We were told that our visas would be provided on arrival in Malaysia.
Question – Who received you when you arrived?
Chizuzu – When we arrived at Singapore, we found two guys who were waiting for us but had no knowledge about us playing Malaysia national team. They didn’t strike me like football people. We had to travel by coach and drove for about 300km. we had problems at the border between Singapore and Malaysia concerning the visa issue. After our arrival, the following day Musavengana came with two strange guys who then held a meeting with the technical team. After their meeting, I asked Clayton about the meeting and he said he was not sure about what the substance of the meeting was but they had been asked to co-operate fully and play three games. He asked me not to tell Mugavazi about it.
I then discovered that these were match agents who were also organising this match outside the Malaysian FA. A BBC correspondent asked me how many players were in the Zimbabwe national team. I told him that we were a Premier League team and did not have National Team players with us. I actually did a 10-minute interview with the BBC and, after that, Monoz were dubbed the impostors. The media there went on to even produce names of players for Warriors from the previous Merdeka Cup.
Question – Why were these agents misleading the Malaysians?
Chizuzu – The agents wanted to fleece off the public of their money. By the time we left Malaysia, we were unwanted by the public there. Musavengana’s behaviour was very funny, e.g, he used to sit on the technical bench like (a) coach.
Question – If, in Malaysia, they were expecting our national team, then why did we send a club?
Chizuzu – Back home, the national team had not been cleared for the trip. I am aware that national team players and coaches like Luke Masomere had been told to keep their passports and bags ready for the trip. Japajapa was supposed to have travelled with this national team and, when the trip was not sanctioned, he therefore could not travel. He got mad, over the Monoz issue, because he was dropped.
Question – As a journalist, why did you people not pick it up early before the rot had set in?
Chizuzu – The truth is that there would be very few journalists who would say they didn’t know about these games?
Question – But, then, why were you gagged on it?
Chizuzu – If you guys are underestimating the strength of that lady then you are fooling yourselves. She is capable of doing anything in her quest to achieve her objective. Even now, all the senior journalists from all the media houses are under her.
The junior journalists have a very clear conscious (conscience) but it’s the guys who say this story must be published or not who frustrate them into submission.
Question – How was the money transferred from Asia to Zimbabwe?
Chizuzu – Real money was shipped to offshore accounts in advance. The main account was and is in Jo’burg.
Question – In Malaysia, what did you really notice?
Chizuzu – There was a big problem in Malaysia when they discovered it was not Zimbabwe national team. The Malaysians were looking forward to good preparation matches against Zimbabwe since their national team was going to be playing against Manchester United from UK. There was also a noticeable rift between Mugavazi and Musavengana and, as a result, Musavengana bolted out of the team hotel and stayed away from where we were staying.
Question – What did Monomotapa gets in monetary terms?
Chizuzu – Mugavazi was paid US$10 000 and this money was given to him in public in the hotel lobby by the Asian guys.
Question – How much did the players get?
Chizuzu – All the players got US$2 500 each and this was gotten clandestinely through the technical team. The technical team each got US$5 000. The team doctor, and executive committee members, were sidelined.
Question – How did the matches go, i.e. the conduct?
Chizuzu – Voster Chitemu came to me saying he was not understanding what was happening, because Musavengana had approached the team at half-time, fuming that they were causing the whole team delegation not to receive their good money. I told (Lysias) Sibanda the issue and he was not amused at all. After that game, the agents paid the team and was no unrest again. The payments were done at night, when the executives were asleep, or not suspecting anything to be happening.
Question – What did the players sign for as allowance payments?
Chizuzu – The official record was put at US$700 each. Also, ‘Far’ Ndlovu left earlier, back for home, to prepare for the arrival of the Tunisian team. The Zifa CEO surprised me by phoning ‘Far’ who was leaving for home that day.
Question – What did the executives get?
Chizuzu – The executives got US$500 each. Coach Rodwell Dhlakama dribbled out his entire technical team on the extra US$5 000, given to them by Musavengana, when we arrived back home.
Question – What’s your recommendations to this committee?
Chizuzu – On punishment to the players, I strongly recommend a lot of leniency as Zifa are to blame for all this. The whole Zifa HQ benefited through payments made to each of them by the CEO, including Nelson Matongorere (Zifa technical director). Wellington Nyatanga could not reign on CEO simply because the moment he received the “boot” (loot) from the CEO, he then obviously, ceded his authority to her.
Even board members like (Fungayi) Chihuri (who is part of the investigating committee that prepared the report) and Gladmore Muzambi received the loot and (Jonathan) Mashingaidze (current Zifa CEO), was also a recipient.