GWERU – The Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) Management Committee has today suspended Henrietta Rushwaya from her post as President and Gift Karanda from his post as the Secretary for External Affairs following their involvement in an alleged 6 kg gold smuggling scandal that got them arrested recently.
Leading proceedings during a press conference held in Gweru, ZMF Management Committee chairperson, Makumba Nyenje said Rushwaya’s deputy Marufu Sithole will take over then reigns as President as the board awaits Rushwaya’s verdict.
“As the management committee, we have received reports from the Secretary General and Treasurer General following the incident involving Rushwaya and Karanda. After strong deliberations pertaining the two, we have realized that they are appearing before the courts for attempted smuggling of gold and this committee has focused on action to take.
“Our constitution stipulates that a member convicted of a criminal offence shall also seize to be a member of the national executive. Since the case is still before the courts, whilst awaiting the verdict this committee is recommending suspension of Rushwaya and Karanda from their offices until finalization of their matter or expiry of their term of office that comes on 14 June 2021 which ever comes first,” Nyenje said.
“Accordingly, the committee is recommending that Marufu Sithole as the first vice president takes over as acting President until the matter is finalized,” he added.
The sitting committee also expressed that the incident involving Ruhwaya is sad though they said amid its potential of tainting the federation’s image, they were happy the two had fallen into crime in their own capacity.
Meanwhile, four more have been arrested in the ongoing scam.
The four include Ali Mohammed of the car dealership Ali Japan 786, whom Rushwaya allegedly fingered as the source of the four gold bars found in her luggage, plus two security services officers, Steven Cherai and Rafius Mupandauya, who may have been involved in the attempt to get Rushwaya through the security checks with her gold, and Gift Karanda who had allegedly lied that he was a member of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) after he went to the airport to assist Rushwaya.
As more details of the alleged attempt to smuggle the gold worth US$333 000 out of the country emerge, prosecutors yesterday applied to withdraw their consent for bail for Rushwaya.
They had previously agreed to $90 000 plus the surety of title deeds to her lawyer’s Borrowdale property.