Henrietta Rushwaya

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Henrietta Rushwaya
Henrietta Rushwaya
Henrietta Rushwaya
  • Football Adminstrator
  • Politician
Known forMatch-fixing at ZIFA,
Corruption Allegations
Political partyZanu-PF

Henrietta Rushwaya is a Zimbabwean politician, football administrator and former CEO of the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA). She has been linked, arrested and tried on several cases of corruption for her role in match-fixing scandals in Zimbabwe.

She is then became president of the Zimbabwe Miners Federation. In October 2020, Rushwaya was arrested at Robert Mugabe International Airport after attempting to smuggle 6kg of gold out of Zimbabwe to Dubai.


Rushwaya trained as a teacher at Morgenster Teachers College in Masvingo and practised for a couple of years. After a stint with the Sports and Recreation Commission, she went to study sports management on a scholarship in Norway. She returned in 2004 and was asked to coordinate fundraising activities for the national soccer team, The Warriors.[1]

Rushwaya then held the post of director of sport in Vice-President Joseph Msika's office, before being appointed Zifa Chief Executive Officer on 1 March 2007.[2]

Match Fixing Allegations


In a match-fixing scandal which is commonly referred to as the Limpopogate, in March 2016, ZIFA announced that Rushwaya had been linked to a match-fixing syndicate which had been fixing games for the past 6 years and was planning to fix an upcoming Zimbabwe 2017 Nations Cup qualifiers game against Swaziland.[3] Rushwaya admitted that she had interacted with Asian match-fixers since 2015 up to the time the scandal was unearthed but said she was working undercover to try and nail them after she promised investigators working for FIFA that she would bring the culprits to book.[4]

In April 2016 Rushwaya was arrested following the allegations of being involved in a match-fixing ring run from South Africa.


Henrietta Rushwaya at a football match

In a match-fixing scandal which came to be known as Asiagate, then ZIFA CEO, Henrietta Rushwaya 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. An investigation into the matter found she was the “core central point” in the scam which involved referees, players and journalists. On the trip, Zimbabwe lost 3-0 to Thailand; beat the Malaysian champions Selangor 3-0 before losing 6-0 to Syria. An investigation by the ZIFA Board of Enquiry found that Rushwaya had been the “core central point” in the match-fixing. [5]

On 26 October 2016, Rushwaya was fired 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.[6]

In February 2012 Henrietta Rushwaya was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission on allegations of bribery and match-fixing linked to the Asiagate 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.[7]

Extortion Allegation

  • In August 2014 Rushwaya was arrested on allegations of planning an attempt to extort Prophetic Healing Deliverance Ministries leader and founder Walter Magaya of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Rushwaya was picked up following a report made by Prophet Magaya at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Law and Order Section at Harare Central Police Station.[8]

Other Criminal Allegations

2008 Arrest

In February 2008, Rushwaya 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 the Rushwaya's trial on theft charges being brought forward by two months.[2]

Corruption at ZIFA

Between 2007 and 2008 she faced theft charges for stealing from ZIFA funds and was tried at the courts in 2008.[2]

2020 Gold Smuggling Arrest

On 26 October 2020, Henrietta Rushwaya was arrested as she tried to smuggle 6kgs of gold out of Zimbabwe at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.

Detectives, who were tracking her based on a tip-off, alerted the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) scanner operators to thoroughly examine Rushwaya's hand luggage where the gold was subsequently found. The gold was worth US$366,000.

Questioned about the origin of the gold, she said that she had obtained it from an Ali of number 32 Lanark Road, Alexandra Park, Harare. She was charged with smuggling under the Customs and Excise Act.[9]

She is mentioned on p32 Cartel Power Dynamics in Zimbabwe under Case Study 5 The Mining Cartels.

The head of the Zimbabwe Miner’s Federation, Henrietta Rushwaya is currently on trial for attempting to smuggle gold belonging to Pakistani businessman Ali Muhamad. (Madzianike, N. Rushwaya remains in custody as State moves to contest Ali bail. 13 November 2020) It has been alleged that Rushwaya, the First Lady, Auxillia Mnangagwa and one of the President’s sons, Collins Mnangagwa are part of “an elite trafficking cartel” that smuggles gold out of Zimbabwe. (Flanagan, J. Zimbabwe gold smugglers ‘worked for Mnangagwa’s wife’. The Times, 2 November 2020)

On 11 August 2022, Rushwaya was cleared on allegations of offering a bribe to an airport official to allow her to travel out of the country with 6kgs of gold in October 2020.

She was acquitted of bribery by Harare regional magistrate Learnmore Mapiye after a full trial.

Mapiye said the State’s evidence, through witnesses, left many doubts about how Rushwaya could have committed the offence.[10]

"Gold Mafia"

Al Jazeera

In March 2023, an Al Jazeera documentary called Gold Mafia (the first of four) alleged that Uebert Angel, an influential Zimbabwean diplomat (appointed March 2021 by President Emmerson Mnangagwa), offered to use his status to launder millions of dollars through a gold-smuggling scheme. The documentary alleges that gangs have turned Western sanctions into an opportunity to smuggle large quantities of gold and launder hundreds of millions of dollars through a complex web of companies and bribes. Al Jazeera reporters posed as Chinese nationals who were looking to launder large sums of money. The 44-year-old Angel, who claims to be a prophet and heads a congregation — the Good News Church — with branches in 15 countries, his business partner Rikki Doolan, said they could facilitate this.

Central to Angel’s alleged gold-for-dirty money operations was Henrietta Rushwaya, president of the Zimbabwe Miners Association. Rushwaya, is also the niece of Emmerson Mnangagwa, and told Angel and the reporters on a phone call that smuggling 100kg of gold each week would be no problem. “They can buy the gold directly in cash, because we are the only sector in the country that is paying in foreign exchange on a cash basis,” Rushwaya said during the call. Doolan offered to set up a face-to-face meeting with Mnangagwa on the sidelines of the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow in 2021. The gang also offered to help launder money by building properties near the tourist town of Victoria Falls. [11]

An investigation by Al Jazeera claimed that Rushwaya was a member a band of criminals driving gold smuggling and money laundering worth billions of dollars in Southern Africa.[12]

The first part of Gold Mafia, a four-part documentary by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit based on dozens of undercover operations spanning three continents, was released on 23 March 2023.

It identified Rushwaya as the person whom Uebert Angel and Rikki Doolan get in touch with when they want to discuss buying gold for their laundering scam.

Angel, who was one of Zimbabwe’s most influential diplomats, and Doolan a pastor in a church led by the former, were also identified by the investigation as part of the Gold Mafia.

Political Career

In February 2008 Rushwaya tried and failed to secure the ticket to represent Zanu PF in Gutu South in the 29 March 2008 parliamentary elections.[2]

Personal Life

  • In November 2015 it was rumoured Rushwaya was having an affair with popular musician, Jah Prayzah. Both Rushwaya and Jah Prayzah dismissed the rumours.
  • In January 2011 it was reported Rushwaya had possibly had an affair with MDC politician Welshman Ncube.
  • Rushwaya was reported to have had an exploitative relationship with popular football star Benjani Mwaruwari whom she reportedly said had bought her a car for a gift.[13]


  1. Itai Dzamara, Iron Lady, Rushwaya – how the Zanu (PF) patronage system works , The Zimbabwean, Published:24 August 2007, Retrieved: 26 April 2016
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Darlington Majonga, Zifa CEO in new scandal, The Zimbabwe independent, Published:29 Feb 2008, Retrieved: 26 April 2016
  3. Robson Sharuko and Eddie Chikamhi, Henrietta Rushwaya fingered in match-fixing allegations as Nation Dube falls by the wayside , The Herald, Published:10 March 2016, Retrieved: 26 April 2016
  4. Ex-Zifa boss Rushwaya arrested, The Herald, Published:26 April 2016, Retrieved: 26 April 2016
  5. Nkanyiso Moyo, Match-fixing: Rushwaya damned, NewZimbabwe, Published:18 October 2010, Retrieved: 26 April 2016
  6. ZIFA ruling a “nullity”, says Rushwaya, The Herald, Published: 27 October 2016, Retrieved: 26 April 2016
  7. Tendai Rupapa, [ http://www.herald.co.zw/ex-zifa-boss-rushwaya-granted-bail/ Ex-Zifa boss Rushwaya granted bail ], The Herald, Published:6 February 2012, Retrieved: 26 April 2016
  8. Freeman Razemba and Daniel Nemukuyu, Rushwaya arrested over Magaya case, The Herald, Published:21 Aug 2014, Retrieved: 26 April 2016
  9. Ex-ZIFA CEO Henreatta Rushwaya arrested for gold smuggling at RGM Airport, ZimLive, Published: 26 Oct 2020, Retrieved: 26 Oct 2020
  10. Henrietta Rushwaya cleared of bribery allegations, The Herald1, Published: 12 August 2022, Retrieved: 10 February 2023
  11. Top Zimbabwe ambassador involved in gold smuggling scheme, Al Jazeera, Published: 23 March 2023, Retrieved: 30 March 2023
  12. Who are the Gold Mafia? Godmen, conmen and a president’s niece, Al Jazeera, Published: 23 March 2023, Retrieved: 24 March 2023
  13. Henrietta, Benjani uncanny relationship exposed , , Published:17 August 2012, Retrieved: 26 April 2016

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