By Robert Tapfumaneyi
EXILED former cabinet minister Walter Mzembi has made astounding claims incarcerated Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) president Henrietta Rushwaya was allocated a ministerial vehicle by Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda.
Mzembi said this while dismissing an earlier statement by Sibanda in which the latter was warning individuals impersonating senior government officials and members of the First Family when trying to find easy paths to commit acts of corruption.
“Chief Secretary creates these impersonators himself,” said the former Zanu PF lawmaker.
“Can you clarify on his behalf here how he led President Emmerson Mnangagwa to ‘new’ associations like Zimbabwe Miners Federation, how their deals with Ali (Mohammed) were presided over by government ministers? Who vetted ZMF?
“Secondly, how did Madam Rushwaya qualify for an allocation of Ministerial Condition of Service vehicle?
“She was allocated former Minister Hlongwane’s Jeep Cherokee in December 2017 by the Chief Secretary.
“In what capacity? Was she a public official?”
Rushwaya was arrested on Monday last week at the Robert Mugabe International Airport when she was found in possession of 6kgs of gold, which she allegedly intended to smuggle to Dubai.
The scandal has also seen the arrest of prominent car and gold dealer Ali Mohammed; state intelligence operatives Stephen Tserayi and Rafios Mufandauya as well as ZMF employee Gift Karanda.
Henrietta’s is a cousin to Martin Rushwaya, the former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence and is now Deputy Chief Secretary for Administration and Finance in the Office of the President and Cabinet.
Henrietta’s and Martin’s fathers are brothers.
Martin’s mother, the late Gogo Mary Rushwaya, is sister to Mnangagwa’s mother.
Henrietta once worked as the Director of Sport in the late vice-president Joseph Msika’s office and later was appointed ZIFA Chief Executive Officer in 2007.
In 2008, she contested in the general elections under Zanu PF in Gutu South and lost.
Following her botched smuggling bid, Rushwaya has since been suspended from her post as miners boss.