SUSPENDED Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) Henrietta Rushwaya and his four accomplices in the gold smuggling case have put the State on notice that they will challenge their placement on remand if it fails to provide a trial date on January 8, 2021.
Rushwaya is being jointly charged with Pakistani businessman Ali Muhammad, Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operatives Stephen Tserayi and Raphios Mufandauya and her ZMF colleague Gift Karanda on smuggling charges, illegal possession of gold, criminal abuse of office and defeating the course of justice.
Rushwaya has another separate case in which she is being accused of attempting to bribe a police officer when she was arrested on gold smuggling.
The five are being accused of attempting to smuggle 6kg of gold worth US$333 000 out of the country before they were caught at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.
Representing the State, prosecutor Charles Muchemwa said investigations on the case were still underway and were expected to be complete by January 8, next year
The accused persons, through their lawyers, submitted before magistrate Ngoni Nduna yesterday that they will challenge further remand if they were not provided with a trial date on their next appearance in court.
Rushwaya, Tserayi, Mufandauya and Karanda are in custody after they were denied bail by Nduna. Muhammad was released on $100 000 bail.
They appealed against the ruling at the High Court.
In her bail appeal submissions at the High Court, Rushwaya represented by lawyer Tapson Dzvetero, submitted that she was a suitable candidate for bail, arguing that Nduna’s conclusion that she had connections abroad was based on speculation as there was no evidence to support it.
CIO operative Mufandauya through his lawyer Joshua Chirambwe, also challenged the lower court ruling, arguing that the magistrate had adopted a selective approach in the bail proceedings when he granted Muhammad bail on the basis that he had been exonerated by Rushwaya, who on the same statement, had also exonerated Mufandauya.
He submitted that by that decision he was denied his right of equal treatment before the law.