IT is freedom at last for suspended Zimbabwe Miners Federation boss, Henrietta Rushwaya after a Harare magistrate granted her $100 000 bail after upholding her defence.
Rushwaya was arrested last October at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport for an alleged intent to smuggle 6kg of gold to Dubai.
The former ZIFA boss had accumulatively spent 80 days in remand prison.
As part of her bail conditions, Rushwaya has been ordered to pay $100 000 as bail, report to the police every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, not to leave her house between the hours of 8am and 6pm.
She has also been ordered not to be within 80km radius of any border post, reside at her given address and surrender all her travel documents with the Clerk of Court Harare. In passing his ruling, magistrate Ngoni Nduna said the court was indebted to Rushwaya’s defence.
“Despite investigations being complete, there is no foreseeable trial date soon for the accused due to the pandemic.
“The court also put into consideration Rushwaya’s defence that she could have picked up a wrong bag, this has been taken as an exhibit together with witness statements to prove her defence.“The court will now escape to grant her bail easily because of the stricter Covid-19 regulations,” said Nduna.
Through her lawyer, Tapson Dzvetero, Rushwaya had told the court that she had picked up the wrong bag with four gold bars weighing 6kg, instead of a similar bag with her clothes.
She claimed her arrest was being used for political expedience aimed at tarnishing the name of the First Family.
However, Rushwaya went on to claim ownership of the gold bars, she claimed the bags were “mixed-up’’ when she left home for the airport ending with her picking the wrong bag containing gold instead of the one with her clothes.
Through her lawyer, said the handbag containing gold was loaded into her car instead of a similar handbag containing the clothes she intended to travel with.
Henrietta’s accomplices, Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operatives Raphios Mufandauya, Steven Tserayi, and Rushwaya’s subordinate Gift Karanda are still incarcerated.
Rushwaya is expected back in court on February 12.