Rushwaya in freedom bid

ZIMBABWE Miners Federation boss, Henrietta Rushwaya, pictured, who is accused of gold smuggling, is pushing for her freedom following the State’s failure to provide her with a trial date.

Rushwaya and her co-accused, Stephen Tserayi, Raphios Mufandauya and Gift Karanda, were yesterday remanded to March 17.

The State said it was still conducting extra-territorial investigations.

But through their attorney, Peter Patisani, the four argued that they were being inconvenienced by the State’s failure to put them on trial, having been arrested in 2020.

He said if they were not given a trial date in March, they would challenge placement on further remand.

It is the State case that sometime in 2020, businessman Ali Mohamad had generated a commercial invoice purporting Rushwaya had entered an agreement with Ali Japan, a company based in Dubai and deals in gold.

Mohamed allegedly gave the gold to Rushwaya who went on to engage Tserayi, a Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative, to transport her to the airport using his official vehicle.

It is alleged that while at the airport, Rushwaya and Tserayi engaged Mufandauya, who is also a CIO operative based at the airport.

It is further claimed that for easy passage and without detection, Tserayi took Rushwaya’s luggage as his and Mufandauya used his airport pass to assist the three in evading security checkpoints as if he was escorting VIPs.

The court heard that the trio passed through the diplomatic bay, thereby evading all security protocols which make VIPs immune to searches.

Mufandauya allegedly took Rushwaya’s passport and gave it to immigration officials for clearance to leave the country.

The three were only intercepted by a Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) scanner that detected the gold leading to Rushwaya’s arrest, the court heard.

It is alleged that the gold was in Rushwaya’s bag which was handled by Tserayi.