Henrietta Rushwaya Biography
Henrietta Rushwaya is a Zimbabwean politician, businessperson and former CEO of the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA). This biography explores Henrietta Rushwaya’s multifaceted career marked by her involvement in sports management and significant legal issues related to corruption and gold smuggling. One of the notable aspects of her life is her alleged connection to the “Gold Mafia.”
Early Life and Education
Henrietta Rushwaya was born in 1968 in Masvingo, Zimbabwe. She began her academic journey by training as a teacher at Morgenster Teachers College, after which she continued her education with a scholarship in Norway, specializing in sports management.
Career in Sports Management
Upon her return to Zimbabwe, Rushwaya actively engaged in sports management and administration. In 2004, she was assigned the role of coordinating fundraising activities for the national soccer team, known as The Warriors. Her dedication and expertise led to her appointment as the Director of Sport in Vice-President Joseph Msika’s office.
Rushwaya’s career in sports management culminated in her appointment as the Chief Executive Officer of the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) on March 1, 2007.
Involvement in Match-Fixing Scandals
Henrietta Rushwaya faced significant allegations related to match-fixing scandals within Zimbabwean football. Notably, she was implicated in the infamous Asiagate scandal, where she was identified as the “core central point” in a match-fixing network that involved referees, players, and journalists. An investigation exposed widespread corruption in Zimbabwean football during this period.
Gold Smuggling Conviction
In 2020, Henrietta Rushwaya’s life took a dramatic turn when she was apprehended at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport while attempting to smuggle 6 kilograms of gold to Dubai. The incident raised serious legal concerns and questions about her involvement in illicit activities.
Details of the Gold Smuggling Case:
On October 26, 2020, security officers at the airport became suspicious of the contents of Rushwaya’s handbag during an X-ray scan. Subsequent inspection revealed gold bars concealed in her possession. When requested to provide the necessary export documentation, she failed to produce the required permits. Notably, all gold exports in Zimbabwe are mandated to be accompanied by specific permits, and Rushwaya did not possess the essential paperwork.
As a result of her involvement in the gold smuggling case, Henrietta Rushwaya faced legal consequences. She was convicted for her role in this illicit activity. The case drew significant attention, especially after an undercover investigation conducted by journalists from Al Jazeera exposed a vast network of gold smuggling, money laundering, and connections to high-ranking officials in Zimbabwe.
Henrietta Rushwaya’s conviction carried severe penalties, including a minimum sentence of 2 years and a maximum of 5 years in jail. Her sentencing was scheduled for November 10, 2023.
The Gold Mafia
The “Gold Mafia” is a term used to describe an extensive network of individuals and entities involved in gold smuggling, money laundering, and illicit financial activities in Southern Africa. Henrietta Rushwaya’s name became linked to this network through her gold smuggling incident. The Gold Mafia’s operations have been detailed in an Al Jazeera investigation.
Key Players in the Gold Mafia
The Gold Mafia involves several key players, each with their own roles and connections within the network:
1. Simon Rudland
Simon Rudland, one of Zimbabwe’s richest men and owner of Gold Leaf Tobacco, has been implicated in the Gold Mafia. His company was accused of selling illicit cigarettes and evading taxes. Investigations revealed that Rudland’s involvement extended to an elaborate money laundering and gold smuggling scheme. He allegedly had connections to high-ranking officials in Zimbabwe, including President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Mohamed Khan, known as “Mo Dollars,” is another central figure in the Gold Mafia. He owns financial services firms, PKSA and SALT Asset Management, which assist individuals like Simon Rudland in laundering large sums of money through fake invoices and stolen identities. Khan’s empire was built on bribing influential people in South African banks to facilitate his money laundering operations.
3. Howard ‘Howie’ Baker
Howard ‘Howie’ Baker serves as Simon Rudland’s point person in Dubai. He owns several gold-trading companies, including Aulion Global Trading, which is at the heart of the Gold Mafia’s money laundering operations. Baker’s businesses receive gold exported by Rudland’s couriers and engage in the creation of fake invoices to move money between jurisdictions.
4. Andries Greyvensteyn
Andries Greyvensteyn is a partner in Aulion Global Trading and also the director of a South African gold dealer called Gold Kid. This company serves as the headquarters for Gold Leaf’s dubious operations. Documents indicate that Greyvensteyn was involved in laundering money.
Couriers in the Gold Mafia
The Gold Mafia operates through multiple rival gangs, each having their own set of couriers responsible for moving gold and money between countries, primarily between Zimbabwe and Dubai. These couriers frequently transport significant quantities of gold and cash.
Investigations and Consequences
The Gold Mafia’s operations have been the subject of extensive investigations, particularly by Al Jazeera. The revelations exposed a billion-dollar operation involving key players, including Henrietta Rushwaya. The Gold Mafia’s activities have serious implications for the economies and financial systems of the countries involved.
The legal consequences of involvement in the Gold Mafia are severe, as exemplified by Henrietta Rushwaya’s conviction for gold smuggling. The network faces scrutiny, and efforts are made to hold those responsible accountable.
- Zimbabwe Miners Federation Boss Henrietta Rushwaya Convicted – Published by Patie on November 1, 2023.
- Henrietta Rushwaya: Zimbabwe president’s relation convicted of gold-smuggling – Published on November 2, 2023, by BBC News.
- Rushwaya faces jail as she is taken into custody after smuggling conviction – Published by Lindie Whiz on November 1, 2023.
- Who are the Gold Mafia? A cigarette don and a man named ‘Dollars’ – Published on March 30, 2023, by Al Jazeera Investigative Unit.
- Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation boss Henrietta Rushwaya faces jail – Posted on November 1, 2023, by newZWire.