HARARE —- One law for the rich and well-connected and another one for the poor? Zimbabweans could not help but start making comparisons following controversial former Zimbabwe Football Association boss, Henrietta Rushwaya’s dramatic arrest at Robert Mugabe Airport in Harare on Monday as she tried to smuggle 6kg of gold to Dubai.
Precedents have been set by Zimbabwean courts; they have given stiff sentences to those convicted — the most recent one being in 2017, when a Kwekwe prostitute was sentenced to five years for possessing gold worth US15 cents. What more with Rushwaya’s 6,9kg of gold?
Zimbabweans await with bated breath for the outcome of this unfolding drama. Many believe, however, given her family connections, she is said to be President Emnerson Mnabgagwa’s niece, she is unlikely going to face the full wrath of the law. We sincerely hope sceptics will be proven otherwise. Below is the full story as it appeared in the government-controlled Chronicle newspaper:
Below is the Chronicle Story
A 23-year-old self confessed prostitute’s five year sentence for possessing gold worth 15 cents without a valid licence or permit has been confirmed by a Bulawayo High Court Judge.
Justice Nicholas Mathonsi on April 28 confirmed the sentence handed down to Necola Moyo of Rutendo suburb in Redcliff by Gokwe magistrate Mr Christopher Maturure.
Moyo appeared before Mr Maturure on March 30 and was convicted of one count of possessing 0.22 grammes of gold worth 15 cents without a licence or permit.
“I certify that these proceedings appear to me to be in accordance with true and substantial justice,” wrote Justice Mathonsi confirming Moyo’s sentence.
Moyo had pleaded guilty to the charge saying a client had given her the gold the previous day and asked her to look for a buyer.
“I was hired by a client that I had sexual intercourse with. He gave me gold to hold for him while we looked for a buyer. I was then arrested while looking for a buyer,” Moyo a single mother of a three-year-old child told Mr Maturure then.
Prosecutor Mr Tineyi Tirigo told the court that on March 10, and at Chicago Sports Bar in Gokwe, Moyo approached a police officer and told him that she was in possession of gold and was looking for a buyer
The court heard that she handed the gold to the police officer who asked her to produce a valid licence or permit that allows her to possess the precious mineral and she failed.
“This led to the arrest of the accused person and 0.22 grammes of smelted gold were recovered valued at $0.15c,” said Mr Tirigo.