The state’s case in the widely publicised Henrietta Rushwaya gold smuggling case is falling apart and with the accused disputing the police charges.
Key details in the case have were debunked by defence lawyers this week when the five accused appeared at the Rotten Row Magistrates court for their bail hearings.
On Tuesday, Rushwaya denied knowing what was in the bag that was scanned at the airport, claiming that she had picked up the wrong bag. She revealed that she had informed the arresting officer at the scene of this fact.
On Friday, Henrietta Rushwaya, Gift Karanda, Raphios Mufandauya, Steven Tserai and Ali Mohamad appeared again at the Rotten Row Magistrates Court.
Prophet Advocate Joshua (John Chirambwe) representing Mufandauya, a CIO operative, argued that Mufandauya did not have any connection to Henrietta Rushwaya, Steven Tserai, Ali Mohammad and Gift Karanda on or before the date of Rushwaya’s arrest.
Chibaya responded saying Mufandauya works at the airport as an intelligence officer and as a shift leader with a pass that allows him to move freely at the airport. Chibaya’s role in the crime was to assist Rushwaya and Tserayi to move freely so that the gold would not be discovered.
Chirambwe put it to Chibaya that Mufandauya has a duty to protect the airport and extract information from popular people and that his presence at the airport on the day is nothing unusual.
Chirambwe asked Chibaya to dispute if Mufandauya was not the one who caused the arrest of Rushwaya by calling the arresting officer Matutu to the scene. Chibaya could not dispute this fact.
Auxillia and Collins Mnangagwa
Rushwaya and her co-accused are arguing that they never brought up the name of Auxilia Mnangagwa and her son Collins’ and the two’s names were mentioned by the investigating Officer to infuriate the public and cause pandemonium by providing a false narrative.
Chirambwe in his submissions, accused the investigating officer Chibaya of opposing bail because he wants to be associated with a high profile case hoping to be promoted in future.
Chirambwe sais Mufandauya should be a witness in the case instead of being arrested and if he is incarcerated he would lose his job at the airport.
Dumisani Mtombeni for Gift Karanda cross examined Chibaya on behalf of Karanda who is accused of name dropping allegedly stating that the gold belonged to the First Lady and Collins Mnangagwa. He asked Chibaya to explain at which point Karanda said the gold belonged to Axillia and Collins.
Two Police Officers
Meanwhile, two police officers, Douglas Shoko and Paul Chimungu, who are being accused of failing to arrest Ali Muhamad and altering his statements that implicated him in the smuggling deal, were denied bail.
Next Court Date
The 5 will appear again before Magistrate Nduna at Rotten Row for re examination and filing of submissions.
The state’s case appears to lack key evidence and the chain of events is being disputed. The accused persons are likely to get bail this week.