Zvikomborero Parafini, Court Reporter
Suspended Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) president Henrietta Rushwaya and her alleged accomplices were back in court on Tuesday for continuation of their bail applications.
Rushwaya, Ali Mohammed, Stephen Tserayi and Rafios Mufandauya as well as ZMF employee Gift Karanda appeared before Harare regional magistrate Ngoni Nduna who remanded them further in custody pending finalisation of their bail considerations.
Prosecutor Garudzo Ziyaduma continued leading evidence from the Investigating Officer Micheal Chibaya who told the court that the gold recovered from Rushwaya had a purity of 99,99 percent which is only done by a reputable refinery like Fidelity Printers meaning that there is a link between the accused persons and Fidelity Printers and its employees are being investigated.
“When Rushwaya was arrested at the airport with gold with a purity of 99,9 percent, she produced a gold agent dealing line issued to Ali Japan 786 where Mohamed is one of the directors and investigations need to be carried out to find the link between Rushwaya, Mohamed and Fidelity Printers and anyone found to have broken the law will be arrested.”
Chibaya added that those operating CCTVs told the police that there was no power from 10am-2pm on the day she was arrested.
However, investigations revealed that there was only an outage of about 15 minutes which facilitated the tempering of the CCTV system with the intention to conceal the offence and chances are high that Tserayi and Mufandauya could have facilitated the switching off of the CCTV, so Fidelity Printers, security agents at the airport and CAAZ security officials are under investigations.
“Mufandauya is the security operations leader at the airport and works hand in hand with the CAAZ security and CCTV shows him receiving Rushawaya at the departure section showing that there was communication,” he said arguing that if released on bail, the suspects will flee or interfere with investigations.
In cross examination, Rushwaya’s lawyer Tapson Dzvetero said the bag that was found in her possession with gold was similar to another bag she was supposed to carry out of the country and only became aware of the gold when it was detected by the scanner which was unknown to the investigating officer.
He also argued that Chibaya never said Rushwaya is a person of no fixed abode which he claimed means she is a suitable candidate for bail.
He also produced a document from Fidelity Printers and Refiners in an attempt to prove that she is a holder of a gold buying permit and is a miner with mines in Shangani and Mupfuridzi.
In response, Chibaya said the production of the permit was immaterial because she didn’t have it on her person when she was arrested and her status will have to be verified by the Zimbabwe Miners Federation.
Due to want of time, Nduna remanded the matter to today for the continuation of the bail application.