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Rushwaya gold smuggling heist: Top CIO officer arrested

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  • ... As it emerges that President Mnangagwa is related to Henrietta Rushwaya.

Mutsa Makuvaza and Thabiso Mdhluli

A Zimbabwe Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative who is President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s security aide, Steven Tserayi, has also been arrested together with former ZIFA chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya for trying to smuggle 6.09kgs of gold bars to Dubai.

The value of the gold is worth an estimated US$360,000 and Tserayi works in the pool of motorcade chauffeurs for President Mnangagwa.

This comes as it emerges that Rushwaya, who was arrested yesterday the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare, is related to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, drawing special interest to how her case is going to be handled. 

In a tweet, police confirmed the arrest saying Rushwaya is expected to appear in court on Tuesday facing charges of violating some Customs regulations.

“The ZRP confirms the arrest of Henrietta Rushwaya at RGM International Airport this afternoon after scanners at the airport checkpoint indicated that there was something in her hand luggage.

Steven Tserayi, a CIO operative and chauffeur of the Presidential motorcade, has been implicated in the Rushwaya arrest. While CID sources say he was also nabbed, police has remained mum.

“As a result, searches revealed that the suspect had 6,09kgs of gold which had not been legally and properly cleared with Customs and relevant offices for export. This is a suspected smuggling case and police are now conducting investigations.”

According to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the 53-year-old who is the president of the Zimbabwe Miners Association, failed to produce documents indicating that she had been cleared by Customs to export the gold to Dubai.

Henrietta Rushwaya kneels before President Mnangagwa in this file photo. Her arrest has drawn considerable interest as she is a relative of the President, who has publicly vowed to fight corruption without fear or favour.

In a charge sheet, the CID claimed that Rushwaya indicated that she obtained the gold from a person only identified as Ali.

“The accused was questioned about the origin of the gold and she indicated that she obtained it from one only identified as Ali of number 32 Lanark Road, Alexandra Park, Harare. She indicated that Ali is a licenced gold buyer using the name Ali Japan 786 Private Limited. She alleged that she had been instructed by Ali to leave the gold to an unidentified person at Dubai Airport.”

However, Ali Japan78 is an automobile company and has no known history of involvement in gold trade.

It has also emerged that Rushwaya’s organisation, the Zimbabwe Miners Federation, signed three strategic partnerships with CBZ Bank, Ali Japan786 and the Central Mechanical and Engineering Department a few weeks ago.

Impeccable CID sources told the Zimbabwe Voice that Tserayi, a CIO with links to senior government officials, was also arrested at the RGM International Airport. However, police would not officially confirm his arrest and the statement made public by the police makes no mention of his name at all.

President Mnangagwa is related to the Rushwaya family. 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.

At the same funeral, Henrietta Rushwaya paid tribute to Gogo Rushwaya who she said was her aunt, adding that the granny was a woman of valour and a pillar of strength in the family, according to the State-owned Herald.

Reports indicated that Gogo Rushwaya was sister to President Mnangagwa. She received a top drawer memorial service at One Commando Barracks, a rare feat for a mere civilian. – Zimbabwe Voice

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