GIFT Karanda, one of the suspects in the 6kg gold smuggling scandal involving Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) boss Henrietta Rushwaya, yesterday denied State claims that he had implicated First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa and her son, Collins.
He accused the police of lying when he appeared before magistrate Ngoni Nduna yesterday where Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative Raphinos Mufandauya (37), also denied having any links with Rushwaya.
Karanda, a ZMF employee, who according to the police statement implicated the First Lady and her son as the owners of the gold intercepted in Rushwaya’s hand luggage, yesterday denied ever implicating the First Family, accusing the police of concocting the statements.
But Detective Inspector Michael Chibaya, the investigations officer in the case, said he was unhappy that the defence wanted to scandalise the police and make it appear as if it was the law enforcement agents who wanted to maliciously drag the First Family into the case.
Mufandauya, a CIO operative at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport accused of facilitating the smuggling of 6kg of gold using his airport pass to assist three other accomplices evade security checks, also denied any links with Rushwaya.
Mufandauya and Rushwaya are being charged together with Ali Mohammed, CIO operative Stephen Chenjerai Tserai, and Karanda for smuggling, illegal possession of gold, criminal abuse of office and defeating the course of justice.
Through his lawyer Joshua John Chirambwe, Mufandauya said he had no connections with Rushwaya and the other four accused persons instead, claimed to have arrested Rushwaya over the offence.
He told the court that he had never met Rushwaya prior to the airport incident on October 26, 2020.
“I have no personal links or any link whatsoever to any of the accused persons even in my phone that you seized from me as police, there is nothing which links me to the other four accused persons,” Mufandauya said.
Chibaya denied that Mufandauya was the one who arrested Rushwaya.
The five accused were remanded in custody and yesterday was their fifth appearance in court for bail hearing.
In his submissions for bail application, Chirambwe argued that his client was arrested two days after Rushwaya, showing that he had no intention to flee trial.
Chibaya insisted on opposing bail on the basis that if Mufandauya was granted bail, he would abscond trial and interfere with witnesses.