By Anna Chibamu
MINES Parliamentary Portfolio committee on Thursday condemned the Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) for dragging the First Family into the gold smuggling scandal that rocked the country a few weeks ago.
ZMF president Henrietta Rushwaya was last week suspended following her embarrassing arrest at the Robert Mugabe International Airport with six kgs of gold she allegedly attempted to smuggle to Dubai.
On her arrest, her deputy Gift Karanda who was also arrested, implicated the First Family after which police later released a statement exonerating the First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa and her son, Collins on the matter.
“We do not condone corruption and as Honourable Bhilah stated, why drag into the mud the Head of State and his family. It is regrettable and we condemn such acts as a committee.
“As a committee, we had started an inquiry into the gold sector before the outbreak of Covid-19 which disrupted the inquiry which will soon be resumed,” chairperson Edmond Mkaratigwa said during a briefing between mining partners and the committee on Thursday.
Zanu PF Chiredzi North MP Royi Bhilah who started the issue had said, “My issue is on ZMF. We have a real challenge when such a big organisation like theirs is being accused of stealing minerals. How far can we go as a nation if we have such kind of people who steal natural resources. Where is our vision?
“The ZMF is now busy smuggling gold outside the country. Last week we heard they were now trying to rope in the First Family in issues that have nothing to do with it in order to cover up on their shenanigans.
“Let it be known that it should be clear that those involved in shady deals should not involve the First Family.”
However, ZMF secretary general Morgan Mugawu distanced the organisation from the gold scandal alleging those involved were not doing the job for ZMF.
“The smuggling was neither here nor there because the gold did not belong to ZMF. The case is under the courts.
“This was her personal deal and her personal trip to Dubai. As ZMF, we did not sanction the travel to Dubai. We do not have any comments on the gold being talked about. We suspended Rushwaya,” said Mugawu