Sunday, 2 September 2018

MINERS DRAG RUSHWAYA TO COURT

A GROUP of miners under the banner Zvishavane-Mberengwa Miners’ Association (ZMMA) has taken former Zifa chief executive officer Ms Henrietta Rushwaya to court for defying a court order by masquerading as the president of the Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation (ZMF).

ZMF was formed in 2003, mainly to champion the interests of small scale and artisanal miners. In June, the High Court under case number HC1652/18 blocked the ZMF from holding its elections for a new leadership in which Ms Rushwaya intended to contest as a presidential candidate.

The ruling was made by Justice Nicholas Mathonsi following an urgent chamber application filed at the Bulawayo High Court by ZMMA citing ZMF as the respondent.


ZMMA accused Ms Rushwaya of attempting to take over the leadership of ZMF through unorthodox means.

The miners argued that the process was fraught with irregularities and vote buying by Ms Rushwaya and wanted the elections for a new ZMF national executive postponed indefinitely citing interference by members of the federation’s general council.

In the latest urgent chamber application filed at the Bulawayo High Court last Friday, ZMMA wants an order interdicting Ms Rushwaya from misrepresenting or portraying herself to the public or any institution as the ZMF president.

They also want the court to nullify all contracts entered into and signed by Ms Rushwaya purportedly on behalf of ZMF.

ZMMA through its lawyers Mutuso, Taruvinga and Mhiribidi Attorneys, cited Ms Rushwaya, Mr Wellington Takavarasha, the ZMF chief executive officer and ZMF, as respondents.
In his founding affidavit, ZMMA chairperson, Mr Thembinkosi Sibanda, said Ms Rushwaya is violating a court order by continuing to masquerade as the president of ZMF and signing agreements on its behalf.

“The first respondent (Ms Rushwaya) and second respondent (Mr Takavarasha) are seemingly masquerading to the public as the duly elected officials of the third respondent (ZMF) in direct contempt of the provisional order granted on 14 June 2018. Ms Rushwaya is misleading the public by stating and behaving as if she is an elected president of ZMF,” he said.
Last week, Ms Rushwaya entered into an agreement with Metbank Limited in her purported capacity as president of ZMF.

“The first respondent must be held in contempt of court. She is wilfully and intentionally contravening the provisional order, and thus circumventing the integrity of this honourable court and undermining its authority,” said Mr Sibanda.

He said Ms Rushwaya and Mr Takavarasha are in South Africa where they are purporting to represent ZMF and lobbying for contracts from potential international investors.
Mr Sibanda said in light of the upcoming 2018 edition of the Mine Entra in Bulawayo, there are fears that Ms Rushwaya and Mr Takavarasha were likely to enter into lucrative deals purportedly on behalf of ZMF.

“There is no doubt that if Ms Rushwaya is not sanctioned she will mislead foreign investors and lure them into signing void contracts purportedly binding ZMF hence suffering irreparable prejudice,” he said.

Mr Sibanda said Ms Rushwaya has been accused of corruption before and fears were that if allowed to masquerade as president of ZMF, she was likely to defraud the public.

ZMMA said ZMF unproceduraly admitted 13 new associations to join the federation.
The organisation also queried Ms Rushwaya’s intention to run for the ZMF presidency yet she is not affiliated to the organisation.

Ms Rushwaya is alleged to have paid $6 500 affiliation fees for the 13 new associations whose admission was irregular and a violation of the ZMF constitution.
Mr Sibanda said the circumstances under which Ms Rushwaya joined the ZMF were questionable and shrouded in controversy and called for an investigation.

In 2016, Ms Rushwaya was fired as Zifa chief executive officer after a disciplinary tribunal appointed by Zifa ruled that she be dismissed for mismanagement and insubordination. She had been found guilty on a majority of charges levelled against her.

In February 2012, Ms Rushwaya was arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) on allegations of bribery and match-fixing linked to the Asiagate scandal. She was found guilty of failing to account for a loan made to Zifa of $103 000 and authorising a 2008 trip to Malaysia where once elite club Monomotapa FC masqueraded as the Zimbabwe national team.

Ms Rushwaya and her two accomplices, the late former Zifa board member Mr Edzai Kasinauyo and fired Warriors assistant coach Mr Nation Dube were also accused of conniving to fix the Afcon qualifier matches between Swaziland and Zimbabwe. They were however, later cleared of match fixing by a Harare regional magistrate Ms Lucy Mungwari who ruled that the State failed to prove a prima facie case against the trio. She said there was no evidence linking the trio to the scandal. Chronicle 

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