Suspended Zimbabwe Miners Federation president Henrietta Rushwaya, and three others have been denied bail.

Rushwaya is jointly charged with businessman Ali Mohammad, Central Intelligence Organisation operatives Steven Tserayi and Raphios Mufandauya and Gift Karanda.

They are facing charges of smuggling and unlawful possession of gold.

With the exception of Pakistani national Mohammed who was granted Z$100,000 bail, Rushwaya along with Tserayi, Mufandauya and Karanda will have to seek reprieve from the High Court.

The four were denied bail by Harare magistrate Ngoni Nduna on the grounds that they have connections outside the country and have means to abscond trial.

Nduna also said there was high risk of them interfering with investigations.

I will consider each of the factors. All the accused have substantial ties in this country. All are locals except for one who is a foreigner but with business interests in Zimbabwe, and this favours them to be granted bail. They are facing serious offences,” Nduna ruled.

The defence argued that cases were very weak while state said their case is watertight and the accused were likely to face a conviction.

The charge of smuggling to me is not so weak that one can be given bail easily…Accused 1, 3, 4 and 5 are capable of skipping trial. I cannot deny that Rushwaya is the key suspect. The probability of getting a severe penalty is very high. This becomes a very big incentive for abscondment if granted bail.

Credit: Zim morning post

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