Harare(New Ziana)- The Harare magistrates court on Wednesday remanded a top mining official, who is facing charges of attempting to smuggle 6.09 kilogrammes of gold, in custody to the end of the week for determination of bail.
Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation president Henrietta Rushwaya was arrested at the airport on Monday, en route to Dubai.
This followed the alleged discovery of gold in her luggage after check-in.
Magistrate Ngoni Nduna on Tuesday quashed a pre-court deal between the state and defence for the accused to be granted $90 000 bail, and ordered Rushwaya’s freedom bid to be heard in court.
On Wednesday, he postponed bail ruling to Friday, in a day of drama as the state withdrew its previous consent for bail.
The state told the court on Wednesday that new details had emerged in the case, indicating Rushwaya could be part of a bigger syndicate allegedly involved in smuggling.
Darudzo Ziyaduma, for the state, said it had since emerged that closed circuit television at the airport was suddenly switched off as Rushwaya tried to clear customs and immigration procedures, indication possible collusion.
He said investigations had, thus, been widened, and more suspects were likely to be brought to court soon.
“When the accused person approached the exit point, the closed circuit television (CCTV) that mans that area were switched off and her clearance took four minutes from the time she arrived at the airport.
“The net of the syndicate is actually wider hence upon taking note of that, we have enlarged the scope of the investigation and we expect more suspects to be brought to court tomorrow.
“There is also evidence that was availed to the effect that the accused tried to bribe two officers who had discovered the offense.
“The net is wider than earlier thought. Hence the decision to withdraw the consent. Additionally, the source where the gold was obtained and it’s intended destinations are now part of investigations,” said Ziyaduma.