THE name Henrietta Rushwaya has been mentioned more than any other in Zimbabwe in the past week, if not month, owing to her arrest Monday in Harare for attempting to smuggle 6kg of gold out of Zimbabwe. But who is Henrietta Rushwaya?
Here is her biography in point form:
*Henrietta Rushwaya was born in 1968 in Masvingo
*She trained as a teacher at Morgenster Teachers College
*She came to Harare and worked at the Sports and Recreation Commission
*She was selected to travel to Norway to study Sports Management on a scholarship in 2000
*She returned in 2004 and was asked to coordinate fundraising activities for the senior national soccer team, The Warriors
*Henrietta then got a job as the Director of Sport in then Vice-President Joseph Msika’s office
*In March 2007, she was appointed ZIFA Chief Executive Officer
*Between 2007 and 2008 she faced theft charges for stealing money from ZIFA and was tried at the courts in 2008.
*In 2008 Rushwaya tried and failed to secure the ticket to represent Zanu PF in Gutu South in the 29 March 2008 Parliamentary elections
*In February 2008, Henrietta was arrested and charged with attempting to defeat the course of justice after an investigation at the Attorney-General’s Office into questionable circumstances that led to her trial on theft charges being brought forward by two months.
*In January 2011 news broke around the country that Henrietta was having an affair with MDC politician Welshman Ncube.
*Henrietta was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission in February 2012 on allegations of bribery and match-fixing linked to the Asiagate matchfixing scandal. She appeared in court facing 11 counts of concealing transactions from a principal, two counts of fraud and 15 others of bribery involving US$1 million.
*In August 2014, Henrietta was arrested on charges of extorting hundreds of thousands of dollars from Walter Magaya, the leader of Prophetic Healing And Deliverance Ministries.
*In November 2015, pictures of her and popular musician Jah Prayzah went viral as it was rumoured the two were having an affair. The pair however denied the allegations.
*Rushwaya was reported to have had an exploitative sexual relationship with then Manchester City and Warriors striker Benjani Mwaruwari. She however admitted he had bought her a car for a gift.
*In April 2016, Henrietta was again arrested of manipulating more matches and being the central figure of a syndicate which involved referees, players and journalists.
*Henrietta was accused of having organised a trip by the Zimbabwe national team to Malaysia on 28 December 2009 during which matches are said to have been manipulated.
*In another match-fixing scandal commonly referred to as the Limpopogate, in March 2016, ZIFA announced that Rushwaya was allegedly the central figure in the match-fixing syndicate which had been fixing games from 6 years back.
*Henrietta was fired from ZIFA on 26 October 2016 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 2018, she was elected President of the Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF)
*On 26 October 2020, Henrietta was arrested as she tried to smuggle 6kgs of gold (worth US$366,000) out of Zimbabwe at Robert Mugabe International Airport. She was charged with smuggling under the Customs and Excise Act.
*Henrietta’s co-accused is Steven Tserayi, they were arrested together attempting to smuggle 6kg gold at RG Mugabe Airport. He is a senior Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative.
*Henrietta’s sister Heliete Rushwaya is the Chief Executive Officer of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC)
*Henrietta’s is cousins with Martin Rushwaya, the former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Of Defence. He is now Deputy Chief Secretary for Administration and Finance in the Office of the President and Cabinet. Henrietta’s father and Martin’s father are brothers. Martin’s mother the late Gogo Mary Rushwaya is sister to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s mother.
*On 29 October 2020, Henrietta was suspended from her post of President of Zimbabwe Miners Federation for her role in the ongoing smuggling syndicate investigations. ■