Journalists Involved In Asiagate scandal Tainted Profession: Union

The union’s secretary general, Foster Dongozi, said: “Recent developments in which three journalists were implicated in the Asiagate soccer match fixing scandals are indeed a stain on our profession which suffers from other unfriendly forces such as infiltration, excessive regulation, repressive laws, poor working conditions and an unsafe working environment.”

“On corruption, unprofessional and unethical conduct, the Union’s attitude is of zero tolerance and as such, we call for the speedy conclusion of the on-going processes so that those implicated are subjected to fair and just processes and not private prosecutions.”

The state-owned daily Herald senior Sports editor, Robson Sharuko and former Herald sports desk deputy editor, Hope Chizuzu were banned for life from reporting or involving themselves in anything to do with the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) after they were fingered in the Asiagate report. A journalist from another state-owned media, the
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), sports editor, Josh Muntali was also fingered in the Asiagate report.

Asiagate was a betting syndicate involving the senior soccer team. Soccer officials, players and journalists allegedly received bribes for the soccer national team to lose games to Asia teams. The journalists who accompanied the teams to the friendly games never wrote news reports exposing the scandals.

The scandal resulted in 15 people receiving life bans from involving themselves in Zimbabwe soccer.

“The developments have come as an opportunity for us as a profession, to do some soul searching about professional and ethical conduct while on duty. Allegations have been made of a prevalence of unethical and unprofessional conduct, including demanding or accepting gifts and money,” Dongozi said.

“This should therefore serve as a timely reminder that any form of unprofessional or unethical conduct is unacceptable.”

Former ZIFA chief executive officer, Henrietta Rushwaya, banned for life by ZIFA and believed to be the mastermind of the Asiagate scandal is facing charges of sending the national team to Asia without ZIFA’s clearance. She is now being represented by Harare lawyer Charles Chinyama after she reportedly sidelined Jonathan Samukange and Dumisani Mthombeni. Her trial continues on November 19.