THE State yesterday said Zimbabwe Miners Federation president, Henrietta Rushwaya, deserves a harsh custodial sentence following her conviction on charges of attempting to smuggle 6 kilogrammes of gold to Dubai.
Rushwaya was convicted two weeks ago.
The State, represented by Whisper Mabhaudhi, urged the court to give Rushwaya a custodial sentence stating that the offence was serious.
Mabhaudhi referred to similar cases handled by the High Court where convicts were jailed.
“In previous cases, it was held that smuggling is a serious offence and with porous borders, offenders should face a harsh custodial sentence,” Mabhaudhi said.
“A non-custodial sentence will trivialise the offence and send a wrong message to would-be offenders, treatment of first offenders to non-custodial sentencing is circumstantial.”
State witness Mighty Pavarikanda from the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), said Rushwaya almost prejudiced the country of potential revenue had she not been caught.
He told the court during cross-examination by Rushwaya’s lawyer Oliver Marwa that Zimra’s royalties were going to be 5% of the value of gold she was caught attempting to smuggle.
The gold had a total value of US$330 000, with the State entitled to US$16 652, 11.
Marwa said the State was not prejudiced as it was accounted for.
Another witness, Tafadzwa Simon Muvevi from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Exchange Control Division also explained protocols to be followed when one is exporting gold.
He said smuggling has serious effects on the economy including exchange rate instability, price instability and inflation.
Tichafa Chigaba, deputy director analytics at the RBZ Financial Intelligence Unit, also tendered his submissions detailing effects of smuggling. Marwa dismissed the submissions as not worthy.
“Your affidavit is just about general impacts of smuggling and there is no assessment of the impact of this particular case,” said Marwa.
The case was heard before High Court judge Justice Pisirayi Kwenda.
Rushwaya will be sentenced today. – (Newsday)