- "... Rushwaya was aware of the security checks at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International airport and her “recklessness” shows that she was confident of getting through unmolested but was sold out due to Zanu-PF factionalism."
By Mutsa Makuvaza
FORMER ZIFA chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya is a victim of factionalism and disgruntlement within the ruling Zanu-PF party, it has been suggested, amid indications that she was “sold out” to the CID by people she thought were close friends.
Detectives following on leads from a tip off trailed Rushwaya and Stephen Tserayi, a CIO officer, and arrested them at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare yesterday after a search showed Rushwaya was carrying 6kg of gold bound for the United Arab Emirates.
The value of the gold is estimated at US $360,000 and her case could land her in jail for five years if convicted.
Former Cabinet Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo, who is in exile, said he knows Tserayi as a runner for the First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa.
“Tserayi, an ex-aide to former Minister Francis Nhema, is a runner for Auxillia Mnangagwa and her sons. It’s a no brainer that Tserayi was traveling with Henrietta to protect the VVIP loot until Murphy’s law hit the duo’s luck; thanks to insiders fedup with State House looting!” Moyo said Tuesday.
Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, who has since turned into full blown activism, said nothing will happen to Rushwaya because she enjoys protection from the “captured” judiciary.
“Henrietta Rushwaya’s arrest has nothing to do with a president or regime fighting corruption!
“It is about disgruntled insiders who are left out of these looting deals, they spill information leaving police with no option but to arrest! Nothing will happen as judiciary is captured,” Chin’ono said.
MDC Alliance (MDC-A) secretary-general Chalton Hwende says Zanu-PF factionalism played a part in the arrest of the Zimbabwe Miners Federation president Henrietta Rushwaya.
Hwende believes that Rushwaya was aware of the security checks at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International airport and her “recklessness” shows that she was confident of getting through unmolested but was sold out due to Zanu-PF factionalism.
“Henriette Rushwaya obviously knew that there are scanners at the Airport, that you even remove your shoes before being scanned and that you need a license and export papers for the Gold.
“Thanks to the factional fights in Zanu-PF someone sold the syndicate out. Corruption Chete Chete,” Hwende said.
It also emerged that Rushwaya and President Mnangagwa are related. This became public a few months ago when Gogo Mary Rushwaya, mother to Defence Secretary Martin Rushwaya, died at the Avenues Clinic in Harare.
President Mnangagwa was accompanied by his two Vice Presidents — Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi — Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda, service chiefs and other high-ranking Government officials to pay his condolences.
Moreover, Gogo Rushwaya, who was sister to President Mnangagwa, received a top drawer memorial service at One Commando Barracks, a rare feat for a mere civilian.
Henrietta and Martin Rushwaya are cousins, as their fathers are brothers. Henrietta is also a sister to Heliette Rushwaya, who was recently appointed the chief executive of the State-owned broadcaster ZBC.
A teacher by training, Rushwaya tried her hand in Zanu-PF politics and was angling for the Gutu South parliamentary seat in 2008.
Rushwaya tried and failed to secure the ticket to represent Zanu PF in Gutu South in the 29 March 2008 Parliamentary elections and the ruling party asked her to stand down.
Before entering politics and full time business, Rushwaya worked as a football administrator and is ex-Zifa CEO. Her stint in football ended badly as she was linked to a series of corruption cases involving extortion, fraud, bribery, theft and match-fixing scandals, as well as dodgy love affairs. She was named in the Asiagate match-fixing scandal alongside top footballers and coaches.
‘Asiagate’ refers to a massive match-fixing scam involving the Zimbabwe national team and other local clubs who went on tour, mainly in Asia, as well as the Middle East and North Africa, and were paid to play losing matches between August 2007 and January 2010.
Meanwhile, Rushwaya is expected in court today. However, law lecturer Alex Magaisa reckons that Rushwaya will get away with a slap on the wrist.
“She will probably be bailed shortly. And after a few remand hearings, the matter will die quietly. It will be set up to fail, like the (Delish) Nguwaya affair.
“There will be technicalities that will be exploited and that will be it. It all depends on who her political godfather is,” said Magaisa. – Zimbabwe Voice ■