Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) president Phillip Chiyangwa has denied word doing rounds that he was allegedly arrested while trying to smuggle US$8 million out of Zimbabwe on Saturday.
The flamboyant Harare businessman said he was in South Africa for the Caf Confederation Cup final pitting Supersport of South Africa and TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo at the invitation of the Confederation of African Football at the time of the alleged arrest.
Word doing rounds was that Chiyangwa was arrested on Saturday along with business partner Chamu Chiwanza while trying to smuggle the money but the flamboyant businessman said all those were lies, adding he has nothing to fear since he does everything according to the law.
Chiyangwa said his conscience was clear as he has done nothing wrong to warrant the rumour mill being peddled by desperate people.
On Sunday, Studio 7 tried to get Chiyangwa’s side of the story with regards to the widespread rumour but his mobile phone was continuously not reachable.
In the same story, ZIFA spokesperson Xolani Gwesela was also quoted as saying he was not certain about the Zifa chief’s whereabouts.
In a letter to VOA Studio 7, Gwesela said he never discussed anything related to Chiyangwa with a VOA correspondent.
He said the business tycoon was in South Africa at the time of the alleged arrest.
“Chiyangwa was a guest of CAF and the South African Football Association (SAFA) in his capacity as COSAFA President at the CAF Confederation Cup final between Supersport United and TP Mazembe at Lucas Moripe stadium on the same night he is said to have been picked up by police in Zimbabwe,” he wrote in a letter posted on the ZIFA website.
Chiyangwa was quoted as saying, “News agents are desperate for news that they can even manufacture flagrant lies that defies logic. They say I was arrested on Saturday, the same day I was in Pretoria watching Supersport and Mazembe. How is that possible?” he asked rhetorically.
He insisted that he had not committed any offence. “I am a businessman and football boss. I have never been involved in any chicanery and would not want to justify people’s agendas by delving in such mischief.”
Gwesela further said he had nothing to do with the story. “I have to put it very clear that I never talked to your correspondent about Chiyangwa and anything related to the so-called arrest.”
VOA Studio 7 wishes to apologize for inadvertently quoting Gwesela. Any inconvenience caused is sincerely regreted.