Chiyangwa scandal: More details emerge

Chiyangwa scandal: More details emerge
Published: 01 October 2017 (596 Views)
AS Zifa President Philip Chiyangwa this week tried to distance himself from the controversial sale of the association's property in Harare which would be under judicial authority, fresh details have emerged suggesting that the association reneged on a deed of settlement it had reached with one of its creditors Lazarus Riva to pay his money by April 30 2016.

The details emerge amid allegations that Chiyangwa and his executive at Zifa have been shielding assets and association funds from creditors by moving them to private entities and private business accounts.

Court documents seen by Standardsport suggest that Zifa, through its legal representative — Itai Ndudzo — had agreed to pay Riva through installments and that the money which he had attached through the sheriff of the High Court be returned to the association's account held at Steward Bank.

But to date, according to documents, the association is yet to pay anything. Chiyangwa, through his private account held at Ecobank, allegedly tried to deposit $5 000 on behalf of Zifa to Riva but later withdrew the deal.

"In the event of the applicant failing to pay $5 000 installment due by March 31 2016, the outstanding amounts shall become immediately due and executable," read part of the order by Justice Joseph Mafusire.

Documents suggest that Chiyangwa had committed to personally pay Riva $5 000 so that he would not attach property at Zifa Village, but the property mogul "rescinded" the deal although he had already filled in a real time gross settlement (RTGS) with his Ecobank account held at Borrowdale Branch which he later cancelled.

Zifa owes various creditors and it has allegedly engaged in "unorthodox" means to evade paying them, with the more recent move being the controversial sale of a property in Kensington, Harare by Marshal Jonga, who is an employee of Chiyangwa's Pinnacle Properties and a director at Zifa Private Limited — a subsidiary of Zifa Holdings — and has a company which has a business contract with the association.

Chiyangwa through his lawyers Mutamangira and Associates, this week attempted to disown Jonga as one of his workers, but an advert placed in the media by Pinnacle Properties on July 20 2017 with regards to the wrangle over Nyarungu Estate, states otherwise.

The advert stated that Jonga, whose mobile number was listed, together with Brian Chiyangwa and Bruce Chiyangwa, were the people who prospective land buyers in Nyarungu Estate should contact on behalf of Jetmaster Properties — a subsidiary of Pinnacle Properties — as they claimed that land barons were swindling desperate home seekers.

Besides being an alleged staffer at Pinnacle Properties — a company linked to Chiyangwa — Jonga is also listed as a director at Hansporte Investment, a company which has commercial deals with Zifa and operates from 160 Enterprise Road, Highlands, Harare — offices owned by the Zifa president and are currently being used by the association as its headquarters.

The Zifa president threatened legal action against The Standard, claiming defamation following last week's publication which claimed that he — through associates — was stripping Zifa assets.

Court documents at hand suggest that Jonga together with Zifa board member finance, Philemon Machana are the directors of Zifa Private Limited and have been shielding the association's assets from creditors.

In one of the court papers filed by Daisy Guest House demanding more than $160 000 for services rendered to Zifa of which nothing had been paid, Jonga in his affidavit to the court, stated that the Zifa headquarters at 53 Livingstone Avenue was owned by Zifa Private Limited and should not be attached by the creditor as it was a private entity's property with no relationship to the football association.

"I confirm that there is no relationship whatsoever between Zifa [Private] Limited directors or shareholders and the Zimbabwe Football Association. Zifa is purely a commercial entity and Zifa is a private organisation of an associative nature," wrote Jonga in his affidavit against Daisy Guest House.

But audited financial statements for Zifa's 2015 financial year tabled at last year's general assembly chaired by Chiyangwa and prepared by Baker Tilly Gwatidzo chartered accountants, state that Zifa (Private) Limited is a special purpose vehicle for the Zifa association.

Furthermore, documents from the registrar of companies state that Machana was one of the directors at Zifa Private Limited.

Bank documents also suggest that at some point, Zifa moved money from its Steward Bank account to Conduit Holdings — one of the companies owned by Machana — with indications that it was meant to "protect" the funds from creditors who have been raiding the association demanding their dues.

Machana confirmed that he runs Conduit Holdings and that his firm had received Zifa funds with bank statements suggesting that the money involved could be more than $100 000, but refused to discuss how these funds found their way into his private business bank account, referring all questions to Chiyangwa.

"I cannot comment my brother, suffice to say all is in order. If you have anything to the contrary, feel free to inform the readers. I cannot comment on Zifa issues anymore as said in my last email to you," Machana said.

Some of the funds, according to bank statements, were moved on April 21 2016 to Conduit Holdings.

Chiyangwa was unavailable for comment although he had previously stated that he was not willing to talk to this reporter and even suggested that "you can write whatever you want".

- standardsport

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