Under-fire Zimbabwe small scale miners boss Henrietta Rushwaya’s botched bit to smuggle 6kg of gold to Dubai Monday featured in the British parliament’s House of Lords Wednesday with legislators in the upper house spotlighting on apparent poor governance by the Harare administration.
Rushwaya, widely believed to be related to Mnangagwa, was arrested at the Robert Gabriel International Airport in Harare Monday while trying to smuggle gold worth over US$300 000.
The matter reverberated in the British parliament with a legislator Anthony St John asking British Under Secretary of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Elizabeth Sugg, to explain what Zimbabwe’s colonial master was doing to ensure Mnangagwa’s government stopped the scourge of corruption.
“Is the minister aware that President Mnangagwa’s niece (Rushwaya) was arrested in Harare yesterday for attempting to smuggle six kilograms of gold to Dubai at a time when there have been no prosecutions for corruption, despite overwhelming evidence of gross corruption by Zanu PF government officials… “
The British legislator also asked, “what measures can Her Majesty’s government and the European Union take to ensure the independence of the judiciary in Zimbabwe.”
He continued, “… What measures can be taken to encourage the South African government to use their political and economic leverage with Zimbabwe to help resolve the crisis.”
In her response, Sugg expressed ignorance over the issue but pointed out they were “working closely with our partners in the EU to try to avoid corruption and we will continue to do so with the African Union and South Africa to try to reduce corruption in Zimbabwe”.
The alleged Rushwaya scandal comes at a time the UK has denied claims by Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu PF and Sadc that sanctions imposed on the country were responsible for the economic downturn, insisting that corruption and mismanagement by authorities in Harare were the main causes.
It also comes just days after the regional block roundly condemned the sanctions and stood by Zimbabwe.