Zimbabwe Miners Federation president Henrietta Rushwaya, who is facing charges of attempting to smuggle 6kg of gold worth US$333 000 out of the country, was yesterday remanded in custody with a Harare magistrate ruling on her bail application today.
The State and defence have agreed on bail conditions, but Magistrate Ngoni Nduna said yesterday in the remand hearing that he wanted to consider the submissions first.
The State led by Mr Charles Muchemwa had proposed that Rushwaya be granted $90 000 bail, be ordered to report twice a week at CID Minerals Flora and Fauna Unit, Harare, and not to interfere with investigations and witnesses.
The State had also consented to Rushwaya surrendering the title deeds of the Borrowdale property of her defence lawyer, Mr Tapson Dzvetero, at No. 709 Crowhill Estate as surety. This would mean the lawyer was willing to ensure Rushwaya would appear in court when required.
Mr Dzvetero yesterday told the court that the defence would be ready for trial on Rushwaya’s next remand date, as she was eager to clear her name.
“The accused wishes to clear her name and wants the trial to commence. I am advised that the State completed its investigations and we hope that on the next remand date, the trial commences,” said Mr Dzvetero.
Charges against Rushwaya’s arose on Monday morning when she went to Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport to catch a flight to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
She went through check-in procedures and her passport was stamped for departure. At the exit screening point on the VIP route she was asked to place her luggage through the X-ray machine by an official, who discovered a dense colour in her grey hard case.
Detectives from CID were then summoned and a physical check was carried out in the presence of other authorities. It was then allegedly discovered that she had 6 095,66 grams of gold in the form of four gold bars.
Rushwaya was asked to produce documents authorising her to take the gold out of the country and she allegedly failed to do so.