By Robert Tapfumaneyi
THE Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) say their investigation has shown that 6 kilogrammes of gold that was found in Henrietta Rushwaya’s possession did not belong to the First Family as alleged.
Rushwaya was busted while trying to smuggle the loot at Robert Mugabe International Airport enroute to Dubai.
However, upon realising they were cornered by airport security, her co-accused Gift Karanda claimed the gold belonged to First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa and her son Collins.
Karanda, according to court prosecutors this past week, reportedly told security the Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) president should be left alone as she was just transporting gold that belonged to the two members of the first family.
“To facilitate easy passage of the gold without detection accused 2 (Tserayi) Central Intelligence Office) took Rushwaya’s luggage that contained the gold purportedly moving with it as his,” reads part of the state outline.
Police of Sunday said their investigations have absolved the two.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police confirms that Gift Karanda was arrested and is facing charges of contravening section 184(1)(e) of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act that is Defeating or Obstructing the Course of Justice,” Paul Nyathi ZRP national spokesperson said in a statement.
“He is also facing charges of contravening Section 3(1)(a) of gold trade Act, Dealing in and in possession of gold being a holder of a licence or permit and also contravening Section 182(1) of the Customs and Exercise Act, smuggling.”
“This relates to his utterances to law enforcement officer at the Robert Mugabe International Airport on the 26 October 2020 when he indicated that there was no case as the gold belonged to the First Lady Amai Auxilia Mnangagwa and her son Collins Mnangagwa.
“Comprehensive investigations have proved that the statement by Gift Karanda was false and malicious with intent to defeat or obstruct the course of justice.
“As such, he was accordingly charged and the case is pending before the courts.”
Earlier, the First Lady issued a statement via her Facebook account demanding police to clear her name in the alleged scandal.
She said any continued silence by law enforcement agents gave rise to public inferences police were trying to shield her from any prosecution.
“I have no dealings nor involvement with Miss Henrietta Rushwaya of any illegal kind,” she said.
“I am challenging the Police through their relevant office to issue a statement with regards the utterances by one officer during her arrest that falsely implicated me and my son Collins.
“I am a strong advocate for transparency and honesty and any continued silence by the police can be misconstrued as a cover up.
“If there is any incriminating evidence against me, I challenge the police to present it to the nation without fear or favour. If there be none, I also challenge the police to say so.”