The Zimbabwe Miners Federation President Henrietta Rushwaya contacted ZimEye seeking to tell her side of the story regarding published allegations that state that she or her sympathisers caused the arrest of journalist Hopewell Chin’ono over tweeting. She briefly spoke during a scheduled Twitter space session on Thursday night where she challenged her accuser to come out and confront him publicly.
Rushwaya’s choice for a neutrally moderated debate is with the only publisher (a member of the Al Jazeera Investigative Unit documentary making team) whose exclusive stories since 2018 triggered the #GoldMafia investigation, Simba Chikanza.
She (HR) was interviewed by Simba Chikanza (SC)
SC: Miss Rushwaya, good evening, you contacted me, seeking to tell your side of the story regarding the many published articles out there that point you as the one who caused the arrest, or is linked to the arrest, being that there are people who are around you or connected to you who caused the arrest of a colleague in our industry, Hopewell Chin’ono, but right now I am going to ask you because as you can see the public want to know so much out of what has now been disclosed to them. Let me start here, by getting into what you contacted me at first.- Did you get Hopewell arrested for tweeting over your bail case?
HR: What did Hopewell do to me? What is it that you’re suggesting that could make me even desire to do such a thing, if I had the capacity or means to do such a horrendous thing? I don’t even have the capacity, I am just a small fish.
SC- You’re saying to me that you don’t have the capacity, but is there not a possibility your “handlers” or someone close to you, or even sympathising with you, as Hopewell Chin’ono says, got him arrested over your bail case?
HR: LAUGH LAUGH. I don’t see Hopewell being any relevant to anyrhing to do with me, other than, than the on the ground journalists, if at all they are there.
SC: But tell me, are you telling me that Hooewell is mad. Are you implying that he is targeting you because of guesswork? I mean, people ask you especially after watching the documentary today, why are you the publishing target of an award winning journalist? Is this not a reason to believe that you have a case to answer?
HR: I don’t know what the case is, perhaps I should win awards!
SC: Are you being real there, and Miss Rushwaya, have you not gotten other journalists arrested before?
HR: As a peace loving Zimbabwean, I don’t believe in the victimisation of anyone… I’ve been a victim of objectification. And as a woman I’ve suffered for things that men still continue to do without being attacked at all.
SC: Miss Rushwaya, we see you in this Al Jazeera documentary. It’s your voice, and you are communicating things here and there, or at least we say, we hear you so. Miss Rushwaya, do you you not wash money?
HR: I am not going to pre empt my legal processes, but meanwhile I I can say anyone can record a phonecall and make a twisted story. You, Simba, when you once phoned me claiming I am not at all in prison, what did you find out in the end? It’s not for me to tell you what my next move is, but, let me the games begin.
SC: Please tell me, ever since Hopewell got arrested, have you cared to connect with him, or maybe should ask you, has he connected with you physically and the like, I think people would like to know the nature of your relationship there.
HR: I am being accused of being close to people of power, who are only being perceived by Hopewell, and known to him, and these people are said to be responsible for causing arrests, and I was arrested on the 20th October (sic)…
Men inside the NPA are discussing my case and a male journalist, while I am suffering, and then the same male comes out to accuse me of being connected to the same male prosecutors he alone has access to.
TYPED THROUGH- From his own notes, Hopewell reveals he has privileged access to the NPA. Why doesn’t he use that access to help people like Jon Sikhala?
Even to help me or even to help himself out of this whole case… (sic) Am I missing something here? These are not adding up.
These are people who have the capacity… to effect an arrest[sic, SOUND BREAKING, NETWORK].
Hopewell, has never bothered to call me, visit me, or even contact me, and yet I am his punch bag on a day to day basis, if I am such a horrible person, why not come here, and we record. Or you record me phone me to expose me, before you scream my name out to the whole world.
SC: Now, wait, are you telling me that he has has even called you? This would be a serious allegation if I call him and he gets a chance to speak- will you wait for him? Because I am of the believe that he …. are you okay to wait? Maybe, let me say, I am not in way suggesting that you are not being truthful, what I am simply saying is to bring him here and he can come here and answer that he never called or never connected with you, and unfortunately at present I do not seem to see him l, as yet, which is a challenge.
I don’t know how much longer we are going to wait here.