Tashinga Nyasha Masinire is a Zimbabwean who was arrested in South Africa while smuggling gold worth R11 million.
Masinire who was arrested on 8 May 2021, appeared in a Kempton Park Regional Court, in Gauteng province on 10 May 2021 and was granted R100 000 bail. He was facing charges of contravening the Customs Act 91 of 1964 and Precious Metals Act 37 of 2005. Masanire was remanded to July 1 2021 for trial.
He was ordered not to leave South Africa and to report to the nearest SAPS police stations three times per week.
At the time of his arrest on 10 May 2021, Masinire was 33 years old.
Connection to Henrietta Rushwaya
Sources told the publication that Masinire was Rushwaya's most trusted aide and driver who 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, speaking through a local journalist who approached The NewsHawks, said Masinire officially stopped working for her in July 2020. However, the publication's sources maintained that Masinire remains linked to Rushwaya and in her circles.
Another publication, ZimLive reported that its sources had said Masinire once worked as a driver for Rushwaya, “but quit almost a year ago.”
Rushwaya's associates said: “He’s not her driver. He has an employer, keep digging.”
Rushwaya also released an audio distancing herself from Masinire. Listen to the audio below:
Rushwaya and the Zimbabwe Miners Federation further released a copy of Tashinga Nyasha Masinire's alleged resignation letter.
Rushwaya said she met Masinire when he was living with her cousin brother Tawanda in Waterfalls. She claimed that when she had known Masinire, he had no birth certificate and no passport and could not take these documents because of his Zambian origins. Rushwaya said that the last time she heard of Masinire he was now living in Borrowdale Brooke with someone he said was his brother. She said:
"If, as it is clear, Tashinga now had a passport, he got it real quick indeed. I have absolutely no idea how Tashinga got into this situation, my only crime is that I'm his ex-employer. It's a classic case of your ex becoming pregnant, and you being blamed."
Connection to Ian Haruperi
ZimLive reported that two people with links to the gold industry told the publication that the owner of the gold was likely Ian Chamunorwa Nyarungwe Haruperi. The publication's attempts to reach Haruperi for comment were unsuccessful, but an associate of his said they did not think the gold belonged to Haruperi.
In another article, ZimLive reported that Tashinga was living with a man known as “Chamu” – believed to be short for Chamunorwa, one of the names of Ian Haruperi.
Gold Smuggling Arrest
Tashinga Nyasha Masinire was arrested by the Hawks Serious Organised Crime Investigation team on 8 May 2021 in the afternoon soon after landing at OR Tambo International Airport.
Upon his arrival at OR Tambo, Masanire was requested to scan his luggage at the international arrivals Customs section of the South African Revenue Service (SARS).
23 pieces of gold were allegedly found on Masanire's luggage and it was established that he had not declared his goods and neither did he have a permit to transport the mineral.
A Zimbabwean publication reported that Masinire was en route to Dubai. The publication further reported that Tashinga Masinire allegedly left for South Africa via the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport where security details could have apprehended him. He was however not apprehended because officials manning the international airport were working in cahoots with him.
- Nicholas Gochai, Gold heist: Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe officials working in cahoots with smugglers, Zim Morning Post, Published: May 10, 2021, Retrieved: May 10, 2021
- Tashinga Masinire, Facebook, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: May 10, 2021
- TheNewsHawks, Twitter, Published: May 10, 2021, Retrieved: May 10, 2021
- SIPHO MABUZA, R11 million Zimbabwean gold smuggler granted bail by South African court, ZimLive, Published: May 10, 2021, Retrieved: May 10, 2021
- ZimLive, Twitter, Published: May 10, 2021, Retrieved: May 10, 2021
- TONY KAROMBO, Henrietta Rushwaya denies links to OR Tambo Airport gold smuggler, ZimLive, Published: May 10, 2021, Retrieved: May 10, 2021
- Thupeyo Muleya, R11 SA gold smuggling saga: Zim man gets R100k bail, The Herald, Published: May 10, 2021, Retrieved: May 10, 2021