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Chamisa reacts to Al Jazeera documentary: ‘the fish rots from the head’

Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa has reacted to Thursday’s explosive Al Jazeera documentary which the network said showed “how government officials and businesspeople are profiting off the illegal movement of gold across borders.”

Addressing his more than 1.1 million followers on Twitter, Chamisa said “THE FISH ROTS FROM THE HEAD The #Aljazeeradocumentary exposes the extent of the rot at the top, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg.”

“This clearly shows how corrupt, rotten and broken leadership has destroyed a jewel and great country. Zimbabwe is not poor, it’s just poorly governed!” Chamisa said.

Al Jazeera says its documentary “revealed some of Southern Africa’s largest gold-smuggling operations, exposing how these gangs help criminals around the world launder billions of dollars while aiding governments in circumventing international sanctions.”

The network produced “Gold Mafia”, a four-part series by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit (I-Unit) “based on dozens of undercover operations spanning three continents, and thousands of documents.”

Journalist and anti-corruption activist Hopewell Chin’ono said the documentary exposed some of the language used by ruling party to attack its critics.

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“ZANUPF calls anyone who opposes its ruinous and corrupt rule, a white puppet. Smuggler Ewan MacMillan tells us that smuggler Simon Rudland has unfettered access to RBZ Governor, John Mangudya.

“Simon’s father is George Rudland, a minister in Smith’s Government. Who is a puppet? Chin’ono quipped.

This week Tendai Biti, a former Minister of Finance in the coalition government of 2009-2013, said he was concerned about the issue of illicit financial flows which are bleeding Zimbabwe.

“We are losing over US$2 billion annually in illicit financial flows.

“What we are losing in terms of illicit financial flows is actually more than what we are getting in terms of diaspora remittances US$1 billion, what we are getting in terms of foreign aid or overseas development assistance and what we are getting in terms of foreign investment which is around $200 million.

“The major culprits are the mining houses – organisations such as the ZimPlats of this world, the Unkies of this world who are guilty of transfer pricing, thin capitalization, under-invoicing and over-invoicing.

It (mining sector) is accounting for $6/$7 billion a year, yet billions are getting out of our country. We have got 65 minerals, but they are not benefiting our country. Most of the mining model in Zimbabwe is extractive. You come in, you loot and you get out leaving total destruction, unemployment and so forth.

“Look at the status of Mhangura in Mashonaland West Province, it is a ghost town. Go to Renco in Masvingo, the road there looks like a road that was built in 1492 but they have been getting gold from our country,” Biti told Parliament.