By Mary Taruvinga
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s wife, Auxillia and son, Collins’ names have popped up in a messy gold smuggling scandal involving Zimbabwe Miners Federation boss Henrietta Rushwaya.
Rushwaya was arrested on Monday while trying to smuggle 6 kilogrammes of gold worth over US$300 000 through the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare.
The scandal has also seen the arrest of prominent gold dealer Ali Mohammed; state intelligence operatives Stephen Tserayi and Rafios Mufandauya as well as ZMF employee Gift Karanda.
Court was in with a surprise Friday when two prominent names from the First Family featured in the saga.
According to prosecutors, upon realising that they were in trouble with airport security, Rushwaya and accomplices said they were transporting Auxillia and Collins’ gold.
“To facilitate easy passage of the gold without detection accused 2 (Tserayi) took Rushwaya’s luggage that contained the gold purportedly moving with it as his,” reads part of the state outline.
“Accused 3 (Mufandauya) used his airport pass to assist the three evading security check points disguising as though he was escorting very important persons.
“The three even passed through the diplomatic bay thereby evading all security protocols. Anyone passing through the Diplomatic bay is accorded such status which enable one to enjoy immunity from search.
“It is alleged that Mufandauya took Rushwaya’s passport and gave it to Immigration officers who cleared her to leave the country.
“By so doing, accused assumed the position that he and Tserayi were in charge of matters to do with the security and clearance; this they acted in connivance with Henrietta Rushwaya.
“The three were only intercepted by Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) scanner operator who detected the gold leading to the arrest of Rushwaya.
“On discovering that the three had been intercepted, accused four came and advised immigration and police officers that the gold recovered from Henrietta Rushwaya belonged to the First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa.
“He further stated that Collins Mnangagwa, son to the First Lady was the person who was supposed to have taken the gold for export to Dubai United Arab Emirates.”
According to the State, Karanda said this well knowing this was not true.
It is not the first time the President’s wife and son have been linked to acts of high-level corruption.
The two were earlier this year fingered in a Covid-19 drug and kit procurement scandal worth millions of United States dollars.