Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
AS the court date for Zifa councillors that allegedly received hush money ahead of the 2018 Zifa national elections draws closer, it has since emerged that 22 councillors were paid directly by the accused executive committee member, while the other 10 were paid by an emissary.
A court date has been set for August 25.
If the court finds the councillors guilty, Fifa is likely to impose a US$11 000 fine plus a ban from taking part in any football related activities for at least two years, in terms of Article 20 of the Fifa Code of Ethics (2019 edition).
Police sources yesterday told Chronicle Sport that investigations have revealed that a then aspiring Zifa national executive committee member, who went on to win, sent money to the councillors through the mobile money transfer platform during his campaign, which saw incumbent president Philip Chiyangwa losing to his only challenger Felton Kamambo.
The police interviewed all, but five of the 32 councillors as well as the executive committee member, who told the police that the money was for refreshments and incidentials.
One of the councillors Mehluli Thebe conformed to Chronicle Sport receiving money from one Robert, but maintained that it was reimbursement for his transport and accommodation costs to and from Hwange, where he is based.
The Fifa code of ethics, however, frowns at such activities where persons bound by the code, like Zifa councillors, accept gifts and other benefits and fail to declare those presents.
“Persons bound by this Code may only offer or accept gifts or other benefits to and from persons within or outside Fifa, or in conjunction with intermediaries or related parties as defined in this Code, where such gifts or benefits
(a) have symbolic or trivial value;
(b) are not offered or accepted as a way of influencing persons bound
by this Code to execute or omit an act that is related to their official
activities or falls within their discretion;
(c) are not offered or accepted in contravention of the duties of persons
bound by this Code;
(d) do not create any undue pecuniary or other advantage; and
(e) do not create a conflict of interest.
Any gifts or other benefits not meeting all of these criteria are prohibited,” reads article 20 of the Fifa code of ethics.
Subsection Two of Article 20 reads;
“If in doubt, gifts or other benefits shall not be accepted, given, offered, promised, received, requested or solicited. In all cases, persons bound by this Code shall not accept, give, offer, promise, receive, request or solicit from anyone within or outside Fifa, or in conjunction with intermediaries or related parties as defined in this Code, cash in any amount or form. If declining the gift or benefit would offend the giver on the grounds of cultural norms, persons bound by this Code may accept the gift or benefit on behalf of their respective organisation and shall report it and hand it over, where applicable, immediately thereafter to the competent body.”
Violation of this article shall be sanctioned with an appropriate fine of at least US$11 092 as well as a ban on taking part in any football-related activity for a maximum of two years.
Any amount unduly received shall be included in the calculation of the fine.
In addition to the fine, the gift or benefit unduly received should be returned, if applicable.
In serious cases and/or in the case of repetition, a ban on taking part in any football-related activity may be pronounced for a maximum of five years, stipulated the Fifa code.