ZIMBABWE Miners Federation president Henrietta Rushwaya, recently convicted of trying to smuggle 6kg of gold worth more than US$333 000 to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, will be sentenced at the High Court in Harare today.
The court yesterday held a pre-sentencing hearing in terms of the new sentencing guidelines, which require the victim to give evidence on the prejudice suffered.
In this case, there was no actual prejudice as there are no export taxes.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe gave evidence on the potential prejudice the State suffered at the behest of Rushwaya’s conduct.
While the gold Rushwaya was found in possession of belonged to her, there are royalties that are supposed to be paid.
Gold produced by small miners attracts 1 percent royalty for the first 0.5kg if the gold is delivered to a holder of a gold licence in a calendar month.
If the gold is delivered by a holder of a gold-buying agency permit to a holder of a gold-dealing licence in a calendar month, the royalty is one percent.
The royalty is 2 percent if the gold delivered to a holder of a gold dealing licence in a calendar month exceeds 0.5kg.
Gold produced by other miners attracts a 3 percent royalty if the gold produced is sold at a time when its price is below US$1 200 per ounce and 5 percent if the gold produced by them is sold at a time when its price is above US$1 200 per ounce.
In this case, the State could have been prejudiced 1 percent of the gold translating to US$3 300. Rushwaya was heading to Dubai when she was arrested for attempting to smuggle 6kg gold through the VIP route at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport on October 26, 2020.
Four small bars of pure gold were found in her hand luggage.
Rushwaya denied the charge when her trial began last month at the Anti-Corruption Court in the High Court.
The prosecution case was built on the evidence that Rushwaya was caught with the gold in her bag as she was leaving the country and that she failed to provide a valid export permit and presented a fake invoice and packing list from a company called Ali Japan 786 (Pvt) Limited, at the time of her arrest.
Rushwaya denied the charge, claiming she mistakenly picked up the wrong bag at home, one containing gold bars rather than the one she meant to take on her trip. But Justice Pisirayi Kwenda found her guilty, dismissing her defence of a “wrong bag” as implausible.Rushwaya was charged along with two Central Intelligence Organisation operatives Stephen Tserai and Raphios Mufandauya.
The two were found not guilty at the close of the prosecution case for lack of evidence. Herald