Former reserve bank agent insulted Mugabe


John Rushton, a former investigator for the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) known for his whistle blowing on alleged economic crimes by prominent businessmen, has become the latest victim of the tough laws of insulting President Robert Mugabe.

Rushton, who is now a senior manager with Fresh-Pro, recently appeared in court for allegedly circulating an email “insulting the person and office of the President (Robert Mugabe)” and is out on a $200 bail.

The email showed pictures of a mansion that Rushton claimed belonged to Mugabe. He will be back in court on March 12.

The 65 year old British citizen blew the whistle on several exiled businessmen including Mutumwa Mawere, Cecil Muderede, James Makamba and his company Telecel before he was offered a job at the Central Bank where he worked as a private investigator in 2005.

Some of the illicit dealings exposed by Rushton included late acquittal of export earnings, collusion to over-invoice imports and false forex loan repayments.

At one time Rushton, was also in line for huge sums of money from the RBZ for blowing the whistle on several prominent businesspeople over suspected corrupt practices.

Whistleblowers are entitled to 10 percent of the total amount recovered following successful prosecution of the alleged guilty parties.

NewsDay understands that Rushton in 2008 compiled a report on alleged corruption involving several businessmen with regards to importation of maize before he was fired from the RBZ the same year but the report is yet to see the light of the day.

Rushton, who was yet to receive his package from the central bank, has told friends that he is not happy about how the whistleblowers fund has been handled.

Impeccable sources say the former RBZ informer, sometime in 2008, went to Mugabe with the report on the alleged corrupt activities, but the meeting has been shrouded in secrecy.

“I don’t want to talk about that. Sorry, I don’t talk to journalists,” said Rushton before switching off his mobile phone.

It is also known that Rushton also gave copies of the document to senior Zanu PF and Movement for Democratic Change officials, Anti-Corruption Commission and the police.

Rushton became familiar with the Zimbabwean business terrain after working for Mawere’s Africa Resources Ltd transport division, Petter International as a senior manager based in South Africa until October 2001.

Between April 2003 and February 2004 Rushton also worked for Muderede transport company, Nemini Careers also based in South Africa.