High Court Acquits Intelligence Officers Accused Of Conniving With Rushwaya In Botched Gold Smuggling Scandal
22 September 2023
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TWO Central Intelligence Officers from the President’s office Stephen Tserayi and Raphios Mufandauya who were accused of conniving with Henrietta Rushwaya in a botched gold smuggling scandal have been acquitted by the High Court.

The CIOs were accused of facilitating a safe passage for Rushwaya by bypassing all security checkpoints at the airport before she was caught with 6kg of gold.

Rushwaya was initially charged with smuggling having been arrested at the airport before other charges of unlawful possession of gold and bribery accused of offering money to the officers who had discovered the offence, allegations which have been cleared by the magistrates court.

The two were freed after the State represented by Whisper Mabhaudhi stopped their prosecution at the close of the State’s case. The State withdrew charges against them for lack of incriminating evidence resulting in their acquittal by Justice Pisirayi Kwenda, leaving Rushwaya to explain her innocence.

The two represented by Admire Rubaya and Musindo Hungwe had professed their innocence to the allegations.

The two were arrested together with Pakistani businessman Ali Mohamad of Ali Japan and Gift Karanda.

Ali was not indicted by the State after it emerged that he was not involved in the incident.

This came after his lawyer Admire Rubaya wrote to the Acting Prosecutor General Nelson Mutsonziwa stating that there was no evidence linking his client to the offence of smuggling and the gold in question.

An affidavit deposed to by Henrietta Rushwaya exonerating Ali Mahamad was used to justify why he was not to be prosecuted.

It had been alleged that Ali hatched a plan with Rushwaya to smuggle the gold together with Tserayi, Mufandauya and Karanda without acquiring a licence.

It was also alleged that Ali Mohamad generated a commercial invoice purporting Rushwaya had entered an agreement with Ali Japan, a company based in Dubai and deals in gold.

He was alleged to have given the gold to Rushwaya who then engaged Tserayi, a Central Intelligence Organisation operative, to transport her to the airport using his official vehicle.

It was alleged that while at the airport, Rushwaya and Tserayi engaged Mufandauya who was based at the airport and for easy passage and without detection, Tserayi took Rushwaya’s luggage as his and Mufandauya used his airport pass to assist the three in evading security checkpoints as if he was escorting VIPs.

The three were said to have been intercepted by a CAAZ scanner that detected the gold leading to the arrest of Rushwaya and Karanda was alleged to have appeared and name-dropped officials’ names to have Rushwaya freed.