ZIMBABWEAN gold smuggler Tashinga Nyasha Masinire arrested at OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa, yesterday with 23 prices of gold worth R11m (US$783 000) is Zimbabwe Miners Federation President Henrietta Rushwaya’s former aide and driver.

Masinire was granted R100 000 bail at Kempton Park Regional Court in Joburg today after he was nabbed trying to smuggle the gold. He was remanded out to 1 July 2021, with stringent bail conditions: not leaving SA until the case is concluded and reporting to police three times a week.

Well-placed sources say Masinire is the most trusted aide and driver for Rushwaya and ran all her important errands. He used to travel with her everywhere, including when she was campaigning to be the Zimbabwe Miners Federation president.

Rushwaya, who is not only a bigwig, well-connected Zanu PF member, but also President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s niece, was arrested at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare on 26 October last year trying to smuggle 6,09kg  of gold worth US$330 000 to Dubai.

Mnangagwa’s wife Auxillia and son Collins were initially implicated in the gold smuggling scandal by some of those who were arrested with Rushwaya. A presidential CIO aide was also arrested, and he was swiftly dismissed.

Rushwaya, speaking through a local journalist who approached The NewsHawks, says that Masinire officially stopped working for her in July 2020.  Rushwaya and the Zimbabwe Miners Federation release what they say is Masinire’s resignation letter in August last year.

Masinire, however, remains linked to her and in her circles, our sources say.Rushwaya, who is currently out on bail after staying for months in jail,  is anxiously and frantically trying to distance herself from Masinire. – NewsHawks