HomeNewsRushwaya gold smuggling case: 6 more arrested

Rushwaya gold smuggling case: 6 more arrested

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BY Richard Muponde

SIX more people have been arrested, among them two top police officers and a Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative believed to be part of a gold smuggling syndicate working with Zimbabwe Miners Federation boss Henrietta Rushwaya.

Police confirmed the arrests yesterday, saying the six were expected to appear in court soon.

“The ZRP confirms that six more suspects have been arrested in connection with the gold smuggling investigation on Henrietta Rushwaya,” national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said in a statement yesterday.

“These are Ali Mohamad, Gift Karanda, Stephen Chenjerai Tserayi, Raphios Mufandauya, Superintendent Shoko and Detective Chief Inspector Chimhungu. The suspects will appear in court soon.”

Shoko is Officer commanding Minerals, Flora and Fauna Unit (MFFU) and Chimhungu is officer-in-charge of the unit. They allegedly received a bribe from Mohamad so that they would not arrest and detain him in custody.”

After receiving the bribe, it is reported that the two just recorded a warned and cautioned statement and released him hours after he had been implicated by Rushwaya.

The pair’s arrest followed the arrest of Mohamad and CIO operatives namely Tserayi and Mufandauya as well as a civilian, Karanda.

A source in the police force yesterday told NewsDay that Shoko and Chimhungu were arrested by detectives from the Law and Order Section after it was discovered that they were bribed by Mohamad.

“They were supposed to arrest Mohamad after he was implicated by Rushwaya at the airport, but instead, they just recorded a warned and cautioned statement and released him after being paid an undisclosed amount in bribe,” the source said.

Rushwaya was arrested on Monday at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport after she was found trying to smuggle 6kg of processed gold out of the country.
The State initially consented to granting her bail on Tuesday, but made an about-turn the following day, denying her bail on claims that new details had emerged which suggested she was part of a gold smuggling syndicate.

She is back in court today before magistrate Ngoni Nduna for bail ruling.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Miners Federation, a grouping of small-scale miners, has suspended Rushwaya from her position as president pending the court verdict.

“ZMF management board which comprised members of the organisation’s national executive, the council and regional representatives met in Gweru yesterday afternoon where a resolution to suspend Rushwaya was made,” the grouping said in a statement.

Marufu Sithole, Rushwaya’s deputy, was appointed acting president with immediate effect.

In an interview yesterday, ZMF national chairperson Makumba Nyenje confirmed the suspension of Rushwaya.

“It’s true she has been suspended. The suspension is pending the court verdict. Her deputy Marufu Sithole is the acting president until the finalisation of the matter,” Nyenje said.
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