Small scale min­ers take Rush­waya to court

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Mashudu Net­sianda Se­nior Court Reporter

FOR­MER Zifa chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, Ms Hen­ri­etta Rush­waya has been taken to court by a group of small scale min­ers who are ac­cus­ing her of at­tempt­ing to take over the lead­er­ship of the Zim­babwe Min­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion (ZMF) through un­ortho­dox means.

Ms Rush­waya in­tends to con­test in the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s elec­tions sched­uled for to­day for the post of pres­i­dent.

The group of min­ers un­der the ban­ner Zvisha­vane-Mberengwa Min­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion (ZMMA) through their lawyers Mu­tuso, Taruvinga and Mhiribidi At­tor­neys, filed an ur­gent cham­ber ap­pli­ca­tion at the Bu­l­awayo High Court cit­ing ZMF as the re­spon­dent say­ing Ms Rush­waya may win through rig­ging.

They want an in­terim or­der in­ter­dict­ing ZMF from pro­ceed­ing with the elec­tions, ar­gu­ing that the process is fraught with ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties and vote buy­ing by Ms Rush­waya.

ZMMA wants the elec­tions for a new ZMF na­tional ex­ec­u­tive post­poned in­def­i­nitely cit­ing in­ter­fer­ence by mem­bers of the fed­er­a­tion’s gen­eral coun­cil.

ZMF was formed in 2003, mainly to cham­pion the in­ter­ests of small scale and ar­ti­sanal min­ers.

In his found­ing af­fi­davit, ZMMA chair­per­son, Mr Them­binkosi Sibanda said ZMF un­pro­ce­du­rally ad­mit­ted 13 new as­so­ci­a­tions to join the fed­er­a­tion.

He queried Ms Rush­waya’s in­ten­tion to run for the ZMF presidency yet she is not af­fil­i­ated to the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Mr Sibanda said Ms Rush­waya paid $6 500 af­fil­i­a­tion fees for the 13 new as­so­ci­a­tions whose ad­mis­sion was ir­reg­u­lar and a vi­o­la­tion of the ZMF con­sti­tu­tion.

“(Ms) Hen­ri­etta Rush­waya was dur­ing the gen­eral coun­cil meet­ing held on June 1, 2018 an­nounced to be the per­son run­ning for the post of ZMF pres­i­dent in the na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee. This was my first time since I have been in the fed­er­a­tion to learn that Rush­waya was an af­fil­i­ate of ZMF, a miner or mem­ber of any min­ers’ as­so­ci­a­tion. Is she a miner and which mine does she own?” he queried.

Mr Sibanda said the cir­cum­stances un­der which Ms Rush­waya joined the ZMF was ques­tion­able and shrouded in con­tro­versy.

“I find it odd that she (Ms Rush­waya) paid sub­scrip­tion fees for the 13 new as­so­ci­a­tions. One won­ders what her re­la­tion­ship is with any of or all of these as­so­ci­a­tions to the ex­tent of pay­ing their af­fil­i­a­tion fees. This is sus­pi­cious and clearly there could be a re­la­tion­ship be­tween the 13 as­so­ci­a­tions and Rush­waya,” he said.

Mr Sibanda said the vot­ing process has al­ready been tainted with im­pro­pri­ety.

“There must be an in­ves­ti­ga­tion to es­tab­lish who the 13 as­so­ci­a­tions are, when did they reg­is­ter and join ZMF and what links do they have with Rush­waya. I sub­mit that voter con­fi­dence has been lost in these forth­com­ing elec­tions, and if the elec­tions are al­lowed to con­tinue on 14 June 2018 with­out a proper vet­ting ex­er­cise there is bound to be a like­li­hood of rig­ging,” he said. “My sus­pi­cion is strength­ened by the fact that Rush­waya is not new to be­ing ac­cused of cor­rup­tion. She is a for­mer boss at Zifa and was dis­missed on al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion. In light of her pre­vi­ous cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions cou­pled with the present cir­cum­stances, one is bound to keep guard and pro­tect the rep­u­ta­tion of ZMF.”

In 2016, Ms Rush­waya was fired as Zifa chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer af­ter a dis­ci­plinary tri­bunal ap­pointed by Zifa ruled that she be dis­missed for mis­man­age­ment and in­sub­or­di­na­tion. She had been found guilty on the ma­jor­ity of the charges lev­elled against her.

In Fe­bru­ary 2012 , Ms Rush­waya was ar­rested by the Zim­babwe Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion (Zacc) on al­le­ga­tions of bribery and match-fix­ing linked to the Asi­a­gate scan­dal. She was found guilty of fail­ing to ac­count for a loan made to Zifa of $103 000 and au­tho­ris­ing a 2008 trip to Malaysia where elite club Monomo­tapa mas­quer­aded as the Zim­babwe na­tional team. Ms Rush­waya and her two ac­com­plices, the late for­mer Zifa board mem­ber Mr Edzai Kasin­auyo and fired War­riors as­sis­tant coach Mr Na­tion Dube were also ac­cused of con­niv­ing to fix the Af­con qual­i­fier matches be­tween Swazi­land and Zim­babwe. They were how­ever, later cleared of match fix­ing by a Harare re­gional mag­is­trate Ms Lucy Mung­wari who ruled that the State failed to prove a prima fa­cie case against the trio. She said there was no ev­i­dence link­ing the trio to the scan­dal. — @ mash­nets

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