A Harare magistrate on Friday allowed the prosecution to withdraw its earlier consent to bail in a matter in which the Zimbabwe Miners' Federation president, Henrieta Rushwaya, is facing charges of attempting to smuggle six kilograms of gold to the Middle East.
Rushwaya, who is now being jointly charged with six others, is now also facing charges of bribery and illegal possession of the precious metal.
Harare magistrate Ngoni Nduna told the court that the state had withdrawn from its initial agreement with the accused’s lawyers of granting Rushwaya ZWL90,000 bail with several conditions.
Nduna said the state did not take into account the gravity of the case before the prosecutor consented to the bail and related conditions, including the surrendering of title deeds to her attorneys.
Prosecutor Garudzo Ziyaduma told the court that Rushwaya, who was allegedly caught-handed with the gold in her hand luggage at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport on Monday, is now facing an additional charge of attempting to bribe policemen and illegal possession gold.
Several other people – Ali Mohamad of Ali Japan 786, CIO operatives Stephen Tserayi and Raphios Mufandauya, Gift Karanda, senior police officers Douglas Shoko and Paul Chimungu of the Minerals, Flora and Fauna Unit – have been implicated in the gold smuggling case.
Mohamad’s attorney argues that charges against his client should be dropped.
Rushwaya allegedly tried to smuggle the gold worth US$330,000 to Dubai in the Middle East.
Thomas Chiripasi contributed to this article