Zimbabwe Government Denies First Family’s Involvement in Gold Smuggling Scam

FILE PHOTO: Illegal artisanal gold miners work at an open mine after occupying parts of Smithfield farm, owned by the former President Robert Mugabe's wife Grace Mugabe, in Mazowe, Zimbabwe, April 5, 2018. Picture taken April 5, 2018. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo - RC144DE808F0/File Photo

Somalilandsun: Following the arrest of suspected Gold smugglers at the Robert Mugabe international airport the government has been made aware that there are some insinuations that the family of president Emmerson Mnangagwa, is involved.

This is utterly false as per police investigation findings this viewed as a poly by some to dilute the case, reads a statement issued by the government of Zimbabwe.

This saga emanates from the 26th October 2020 arrest of a mining boss in Zimbabwe  on allegations of attempting to smuggle 6kg of gold to Dubai.

Miners Federation of Zimbabwe president Henrietta Rushwaya, 53, was arrestedarrested at the Robert Mugabe International Airport after scanners discovered the mineral in her hand luggage.

The gold has a street value of US$276,000 at US$46 per gram on the local market.

In a bid to evade Rushwaya’s arrest at the airport, an associate of hers, Gift Karanda, claimed the gold belonged to the first lady and her twin son Collins.

Since Rushwaya’s arrest, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s security aide, Stephen Chenjerai Tserayi, 45, Central Intelligence Organisation operative Raphios Mufandauya, 37, and 52-year-old Pakistani businessman Ali Mohamad (who Rushwaya claimed was the source of the gold) have been arrested.

But it is Karanda’s name-dropping that has infuriated Zimbabwe’s first family which has so far  distanced itself from an attempt to smuggle 6kg of gold out of the country last week.


Rushwaya Henrietta who is also a member of the ruling Zanu-PF, is no stranger to controversy

n a statement, first lady Auxilia Mnangagwa said: “I do not engage in illegal narrow-minded pursuits like gold smuggling.”

Rushwaya, who is also a member of the ruling Zanu-PF, is no stranger to controversy. As Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) boss she was the mastermind of Asiagate, a match- fixing scandal in 2012. The Zimbabwe national team would play in obscure tournaments in Asia where players and coaches received bribes to throw matches. She was handed a lifetime ban from football.

The scandal has highlighted Zimbabwe’s murky gold sector which, analysts claim, has drawn “untouchable” members of its political elite into smuggling cartels, costing the bankrupt state millions of pounds.  

This factor, the high level connections of the culprits plus the international limelight the saga is garnering might be responsible  for the government’s  quick response distancing President  Munagawa and Family from the scam. Below statement

Zimbabwe Government Press Statement