Official reports suggest that about 23kgs of purified gold was since last year smuggled through Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport suggesting the ineffectiveness of the country’s security systems or corruption.
Last year October, it was Ms Henrietta Rushwaya, the president of Zimbabwe Mining Federation (ZMF) who was caught after attempting to smuggle 6kgs of purified gold to Dubai.
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Her capture was allegedly after a tip-off by some “disgruntled” personnel within the system.
Only recently, Tashinga Nyasha Masinire, a former driver to Ms Rushwaya was intercepted at O.R. Tambo airport in South Africa after passing through Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport carrying purified gold worth US$783 000.
Commenting on the development, award-winning freelance journalist, Hopewell Chin’ono suggested that this was just a tip of an iceberg as more volumes of the country’s precious stones are being smuggled out by political elites. He said:
_Robert Gabriel Mugabe International airport is now a huge crime scene! The country is being run by a cartel that allows Gold smugglers to use an international airport to smuggle 23kgs of gold? What are those private planes from Dubai leaving with? The country is in a MESS!_
His views were echoed by MDC Alliance activist Pedzisai Ruhanya who insinuated that President Emmerson Mnangagwa-led administration’s rhetoric on fighting corruption lacked concrete action to back it. Ruhanya said:
_New dispensation which allows criminals to smuggle 23KGs of gold using through Robert Mugabe International Airport. After they talk nonsense about fighting against corruption. Asi chii nhai Varakashi!!_
Much more gold and other national treasures are being smuggled through the country’s porous borders with estimates suggesting that gold worth a staggering US$1.5 billion is being smuggled out of the country every year.
This deprives struggling Zimbabwe income and foreign currency which otherwise would have been remitted to the central bank if it had been sold through the formal channels.
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