MAGISTRATE Ngoni Nduna yesterday dismissed an application by suspended Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) president Henrietta Rushwaya (pictured) and Pakistani businessman Ali Muhammad to have their seized phones released by the police.
Rushwaya and Muhammad, who were arrested in October, were accused of attempting to smuggle 6kg of gold worth US$333 000 to Dubai.
They are being jointly charged with Central Intelligence Organisation operatives Stephen Tserayi and Raphios Mufandauya and Rushwaya’s ZMF colleague Gift Karanda on smuggling charges, illegal possession of gold, criminal abuse of office and defeating the course of justice.
Rushwaya, Tserayi, Mufandauya and Karanda are in custody after being denied bail at the Harare Magistrates Court.
Rushwaya was arrested on October 26 2020 at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport intending to fly to Dubai with the gold and her cellphone was seized by the police.
Muhammad was arrested on October 30 and his cellphone was also taken away by the police for investigations purposes.
On Friday last week, Rushwaya and Muhammad, through their lawyers Tapson Dzvetero and Tinashe Robin Tanyanyiwa, submitted an application before Nduna to have their phones back, arguing that the police seized their gadgets unlawfully, since they did not have warrants which permitted them to do so.
But Nduna said although 21 days had lapsed since the police had taken the phones, which made it liable for the seized gadgets to be released, the State had clearly showed its intention to prosecute the accused by placing them on remand as prescribed by the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
They had also submitted an application seeking an order for the release of a transcribed record on their case to expedite their appeal on bail application at the High Court.
Nduna said the transcribed record was ready and the delay was an administrative issue which was not brought before the court.
They had also submitted before the court that the State had failed to provide the court with a report on their complaints against the police.
They argued that the police had violated their rights by seizing and searching their homes without warrants.
But Nduna reminded them that they had indicated to the court that their complaints against the police should be put on record and did not state that they wanted the case to be investigated.
The five accused were remanded to December 11, 2020 for routine remand.
Charles Muchemwa appeared for the State. ■