Former Zifa chief executive officer and Zanu PF activist, Henrieta Rushwaya, has been granted a $100 bail on charges of attempting to fix soccer matches in Zimbabwe.
Rushwaya, who appeared at the Harare Magistrates Courts on charges of allegedly being the chief architect of a match-fixing ring involving an Asian betting syndicate, Zimbabwean and South African players and coaches, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Rushwaya is accused of trying to fix the Warriors’ 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Swaziland, which Zimbabwe drew and won the other convincingly 4-0.
She was arrested by police last night following a complaint made by Zifa and subsequent police investigations.
Zifa president Phillip Chiyangwa told Studio 7 that he is not going to comment on the outcome of Rushwaya’s court appearance but revealed that his board would be meeting sometime today to deliberate on the matter.
CURRENT CEO AXED
At the same time, Zifa says it has parted ways with chief executive, Jonathan Mashingaidze, who has been put on early retirement.
In a statement, Zifa president Phillip Chiyangwa said this decision was made by the Zmbabwe Football Association Executive committee, which met today in Harare.
Chief operations officer Joseph Mamutse has assumed the role of acting general secretary with immediate effect.
Meanwhile, the Mashonaland Turf Club have released the horses for Zimbabwe’s biggest horse racing event--the Castle Tankard--but surprisingly there is only one Zimbabwean horse in the 14 horse line up.
Most of the horses in Zimbabwe’s biggest horse racing event are being imported from South Africa with another coming from Singapore as Zimbabwe’s own horses do not meet the standards of participating in Grade One races due to a combination of factors.
ZIMBABWE HORSE RACING DOWN
The chairman of the Mashonaland Turf Club Peech says Zimbabwe no longer has up to international standard horses as most of the country’s top horse breeders were removed off their farms during the land redistribution program and those who took over the farms know nothing about horse breeding.
“Of recent years, most of the horses that have been racing at Borrowdale are born and bred in South Africa. That was never the case. We used to have a powerful breeding industry in Zimbabwe, and produced great winners every year. But unfortunately with declining fortunes for breeders largely due many breeding farmers are no longer on their farms our breeders are no longer as strong as they used to be. I am sad to say this,” says Peech.
Peech says it will not be easy but will take at least about 20 years to restore Zimbabwe to the good old days when the country had some of the best horses in Africa and in the world such as Ipi Tombe who won races in South Africa, Dubai, and the USA.
“I have every hope that maybe in the next 20 years, Zimbabwe horse breeding will be back to its old glory,” says Peeche.
Even Tallie Two, the Zimbabwean bred horse in the the Castle Tankard is not among the favourites to win the 2000 metre and has been placed by the bookmakers as an outsider at 25/1.
The favourites to win the race are Flax who is coming from Singapore whom the bookmakers have placed at 22/10 and Eurakilon from South Africa who is at 5/2.
Jockey Tapuwa Manxusa who is not racing in the Castle Tankard also picks Flax as his favourite to win the 2000 metre race saying Tallie Two is out of the league in this field.
Another of the Borrowdale Racecourse jockeys Daniel Frank also admits that the Zimbabwean horse does not stand a chance predicting that Eurakilon will take the title with the mare Equina in hot pursuit.
“I think Flax has a big chance and Eurakilon is the biggest challenger. I think Eurakilon will win the race,” says Manxusa.
If as predicted, Zimbabwe’s Tallie Two fails to finish in the top four, all the $50 000 stake money that Zimbabwean company Delta Beverages is putting into the race will go to Singapore and South Africa.
The winning horse is guaranteed of $30,000 while the horse that comes second takes home $10,000. At east $6,000 is reserved for the horse that comes third while the horse that completes the quartet takes home $3,000.
The Castle Tankard, which is Africa’s oldest sponsored horses racing event, will take place at Borrowdale Racecourse on May 7.