Henrietta Rushwaya Escapes Jail, Fined US$5 000

Crimes and Courts

Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) president, Henrietta Rushwaya, has been fined US$5 000 by High Court judge, Justice Pisirayi Kwenda following her conviction for attempting to smuggle gold worth US$330 000 to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, reported NewZimbabwe.com.

 

She was caught red-handed with the precious stones stashed in her handbag at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in 2020.

 

Justice Kwenda ordered Rushwaya to pay a US$5 000 fine failure of which she will spend 12 months in jail.

In addition, the judge slapped Rushwaya with 18 months’ imprisonment wholly suspended for three years on condition she does not commit a similar offence during the same period.

 

Giving his reasons for the lenient sentence, Justice Kwenda said there was no evidence to suggest that Rushwaya was a hardcore criminal. He said:

We are dealing with the interest of justice. We look at the interest of society and the gravity of the crime committed.

 

Society has an interest in the sentence because they expect those who commit crimes to be punished… If that person returns a hardened criminal, society does not benefit…

 

We are satisfied that this offence was planned. There is no evidence to show that this offence was committed as part of an organised crime.

 

The judge explained that Rushwaya was a first-time offender and she did not succeed in smuggling the gold. He said:

 

We are of the view that a non-custodial sentence of a fine will be appropriate.

 

She is a first offender and is recognised at law to be entitled to leniency. We are also giving weight to the fact that she is in trouble for a smuggling which did not succeed.

 

She must be regretting the day she tried to smuggle.

 

Commenting on the development, Mt Pleasant MP Fadzayi Mahere posted on X:

“Convicted gold smugglers are allowed to go Scot free while Job Sikhala has been languishing in prison for almost 520 days for a crime he didn’t commit. Tirikutongwa nembavha (we are being ruled by thieves)”.

 

Meanwhile, the Chinhoyi Magistrates Court sentenced three men to two years in jail each for conducting illegal mining activities.

 

The Herald reported that Shadreck Dzenge (31) of 1120 Coldstream, Marshal Munyani (29) of Hunyani Compound Farm, and Simbarashe Zata (29) of 1930 Rujeko, all in Chinhoyi were found guilty of carrying out mining activities on a ground without a permit or licence on 06 November.