Zimbabwe Miners Federation retains Rushwaya
Fidelis Munyoro-Chief Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Miners Federation has unanimously retained Ms Henrietta Rushwaya as the federation’s president following the finalisation of her criminal case, which left her at liberty but subject to a US$5 000 fine and confiscation of a personal stash of 6kg of gold she was trying to smuggle to Dubai.
It is said that her success in leading the small-scale gold sector has earned her due recognition to continue at the helm of the federation.
ZMF secretary-general Mr Morgan Mugawu confirmed the federation’s unanimous decision at a meeting last month in a letter circulated to all the federation’s provincial chairpersons in the country.
“At a meeting held in Harare on 24 November 2023, the Midlands Province led by chairman Mr Makumba Nyenje, moved a motion to support the presidency of Madam H. Rushwaya and this was supported by Ms Christine Munyoro from Mashonaland Central.
“The Youth and Women represented by Mr Darlington Ndlovu and Mrs J. Mazivazvose and other six provinces unanimously supported the motion.
“Having received such recommendations, the National Executive hereby fully endorses the presidency of Madam Henrietta Rushwaya as ZMF President,” read the letter dated December 1 and signed by Mr Mugawu.
Ms Rushwaya welcomed the decision to validate her position saying the federation still has confidence in her leadership, which has achieved many successes since she took over the presidency of ZMF five years ago.
“The court case which has since been finalised and the confidence the sector has in me and the sectoral changes I have brought to the organisation since taking over the reins in 2018, is the reason why they still want me to continue with the work we started as a team, hence am back again,” she said.
ZMF technical representative Engineer Chris Murove said Ms Rushwaya was an economic freedom fighter who has made a mark fighting for the liberation of a very important constituency in the economic fabric of Zimbabwe, the artisanal and small scale gold miner which of course includes herself.
He said although Ms Rushwaya was convicted of trying to smuggle gold out of the country, it should be noted that the gold she was found with was her own.
“With that in mind, I believe there is a good case for Ms Henrietta Rushwaya to be given a Presidential pardon after her sentencing for that conviction of her being found in possession of her own gold at the airport while accompanying it to Dubai, which was going to be its final destination anyway even if she had submitted it to Fidelity,” he said.
“Therefore the ZMF executive and its membership should pay tribute to her successful stint at the helm of that body by petitioning the President of Zimbabwe to pardon her crime of omission by failing to declare her own gold at the airport.”
Engineer Murove said as result of Ms Rushwaya’s case, restrictive laws should be reviewed and amended such that possession of gold is de-criminalised and those who produce and own gold can freely move with it within and out of the country, subject to specific provisions that ensure that in the case of taking or exporting it outside the country, the value of it will be remitted back into the country within a certain period.
This, he said, is what happens in other progressive nations.
In any case, Eng Murove said, the authorities have now moved to put in place instruments like the gold coins and digital gold-backed tokens which may somewhat obviate the need for a gold producer and possessor to want to take their physical gold outside the country.
“Kudos to them for moving in that direction and reacting positively to the pressures that have come as a result of the brave actions of individuals and strong leaders like Henrietta Rushwaya,” he said.
“I know a lot of people will strongly oppose what I have said above, primarily because they do not understand or accept that Zimbabwe is in a state of economic war imposed by the West, to prevent ‘vene ve Zimbabwe’ from controlling their own resources, being land, minerals…” he said.
Eng Murove said gold is the ultimate store of value and representation of wealth, so all attempts and shenanigans will be employed by our detractors to prevent Zimbabwe from benefitting from its natural resources.