By Alois Vinga
CONTROVERSIAL former ZIFA chief executive and now Zimbabwe miners’ boss, Henrietta Rushwaya (53) has been arrested in connection with attempts to smuggle gold out to Dubai.
According to a police internal memorandum seen by NewZimbabwe.com, the Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) president was arrested Monday at the Robert Mugabe International Airport for contravening section 182 of the Customs and Excise Act.
“On 26 October 2020, information was received by detectives from CID MFFU Harare Airport to the effect that the accused intended to smuggle gold to Dubai through the Airport.
“The detectives identified the accused as she commenced check-in processes and immigration formalities.
“The detectives immediately alerted the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) scanner operators to thoroughly examine the accused’s bag,” the memo said.
Upon the search, gold was detected by the scanner in Rushwaya’s bag which formed part of her hand luggage.
The bag, according to police, was then searched in her presence by CID MFFU detectives whilst other stakeholders at the Airport witnessed the search.
“A total of approximately 6kg of gold whose value is yet to be determined was recovered stashed in the accused’s personal luggage in her bag,” the memo said.
Upon being questioned about the origins of the gold, the memo noted that Rushwaya indicated she obtained it from someone only identified as Ali of number 32 Lanark Road, Alexandra Park, Harare.
She said Ali was a licenced gold buyer using the name Ali Japan 786 Private Limited.
Rushwaya said she had been instructed by Ali to leave the gold with an unidentified person at Dubai Airport.
The accused was asked to supply export documents in respect of the gold and she failed leading to her arrest.
“The recovered gold will be taken for assay to determine quantity and value. It will be lodged at Fidelity Printers and Refiners for safekeeping.
“The accused will be taken to Harare Magistrate Court on 27 October 2020,” the memo added.
Contacted for comment, ZRP national spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi could neither confirm nor deny the arrest.
“We will post an update on the matter through our twitter handle shortly,” he said.