Barry Rukoro allegedly assaults COSAFA president

23 February 2018 Author   Michael Uugwanga
Namibia Football Association (NFA) secretary general, Barry Rukoro, is alleged to have assaulted Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) and COSAFA president, Phillip Chiyangwa, last week Friday at a Johannesburg hotel, during a meeting.
The Windhoek Observer is reliably informed that it all started when Chiyangwa told COSAFA executive members that Rukoro and NFA president Frans Mbidi should not be allowed to go for another term once their terms in office come to an end this year.
Mbidi is on record saying that Rukoro’s employment contract with the NFA will not be renewed once it ends in March 2018.
Mbidi’s term is also coming to an end in September this year.
Before becoming president in 2014, Mbidi served one term as an NFA executive member and as per the NFA constitution, a person may only serve for two terms in executive structures.
Chiyangwa is believed to have told COSAFA executive members that Rukoro has long been sabotaging his boss.
Last year February, Mbidi suspended Rukoro allegedly because the secretary general was refusing to execute directives from his office, which he felt amounted to insubordination.
 After Friday’s meeting, Rukoro is alleged to have confronted Chiyangwa and beat him in the chest telling him that he is going to f**ck him up.
The Windhoek Observer is in possession of a WhatsApp message that Chiyangwa sent to COSAFA secretary general, Sue Destombes, complaining about the incident.
“We need to talk. Mbidi’s SG attacked me at the hotel,” reads part of Chiyangwa’s message that was sent to Destombes.
The Windhoek Observer is reliably informed that Chiyangwa has made it his mission to ensure that Rukoro and Mbidi do not go for another term.
When contacted for comment about the alleged assault by Rukoro, Chiyangwa referred this reporter to Mbidi.
“Did you ask Mbidi first? At this stage I have no comment. I am surprised that Mbidi did not tell you,” Chiyangwa said.
ZIFA communication and competition manager, Xolisani Gwesela, also refused comment.
“We will not be commenting on this,” Gwesela said.
Destombes was also reluctant to share any information of the alleged assault.
“We have no comment on this matter at this time,” she said.
Mbidi confirmed the incident, but said he was not present when it happened.
“I know about it, but I was having lunch that time. I was not there. All I know is that Rukoro man-handled Chiyangwa. It happened on Friday (last week). There are mechanisms to be followed before I can conclude what happened as I have already told you that I was not there. COSAFA needs to give me the version of the incident in writing so that I understand exactly what happened,” Mbidi said.


The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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