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Miners boss Henrietta Rushwaya out on US$500 bail after fraud charges

Zimbabwe Miners Federation president allegedly pocketed over US$1 million in botched mine sale

HARARE – Zimbabwe Miners Federation boss Henrietta Rushwaya, accused of swindling an Indian investor of over US$1 million in a botched mine sale, was released on bail by a Harare magistrate on Wednesday.

Rushwaya, who was arrested on Tuesday but released into her lawyer’s custody, was granted US$500 bail by magistrate Stanford Mambanje who said the National Prosecuting Authority did not provide compelling reasons to deny her bail.

She will be back in court on April 10.

Prosecuting, Lancelot Mutsokoti alleged that on April 2, 2021, Rushwaya invited Ashok Jain, chairman of the NV Group of Companies headquartered in New Delhi, India, to invest in a gold mine based in Umpfurudzi knowing full well that the special grant which was issued to her was expiring on May 2, 2021.

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It is alleged Rushwaya, who met Jain through one Asif Adil, told Jain that she could also assist him to get business opportunities in Zimbabwe majoring in the distribution of liquor, establishing a distillery and the setting up of an ethanol plant.

The court heard Rushwaya demanded US$35,000 from Jain for her to initiate the establishment of his business in Zimbabwe.

It is further alleged that on October 4, 2021, Jain met Rushwaya in New Delhi where she was given the money she had demanded.

Prosecutors said on another day during the same month, Rushwaya invited Jain and his son Varun Jain to Zimbabwe for a business meeting.

“During that visit, Rushwaya allegedly informed Jain that she had a gold mine in Mashonaland Central which she could sell to him,” said prosecutor Mutsokoti.

“She took Jain and his son to Umpfurudzi in Mashonaland Central and showed them the alleged mine which she claimed was rich in gold and was on 420 hectares,” said the prosecution.

It is alleged Rushwaya offered to sell the mine to Jain for US$350,000.

On December 26, 2021, Rushwaya allegedly demanded payment for the first installment of US$175,000 for the purchase of the mine through a representative identified only as Richard.

“On different dates between January 10, 2022, and May 2022, Rushwaya misrepresented to the complainant that she was preparing for mining to resume and she was paid various amounts of money totaling US$615,000 by the complainant, when in actual fact she was doing no such process,” Mutsokoti said.

“On May 12, 2022, she further demanded the second installment of US$175,000 for the purchase of the Umpfurudzi gold mine and the money was deposited into Relm Mining Syndicate’s CBZ Account 26160480020 and US$3,000 was transferred into her personal CBZ Harare account,” the court heard.

Rushwaya then allegedly presented a fraudulent geologist’s survey report concluding that Umpfurudzi mine had no gold deposits as she had earlier misrepresented. It is alleged this was done with an intention to lure the complainant to consider another offer of a different mine in Shangani.

Through the continued misrepresentation, Jain was allegedly defrauded of over US$1 million.

Rushwaya is represented by his lawyer Oliver Marwa.

ZimLive

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