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Zim opposition parties demand probe into Al Jazeera gold mafia findings

Opposition parties in Zimbabwe are demanding a forensic investigation into the findings of the ‘gold mafia’ exposé by Al Jazeera.

This follows an Al Jazeera documentary which implicated high ranking Zanu PF officials as part of a clique notoriously known as the “Gold Mafia” facilitating the smuggling of gold worth millions of dollars.

In a statement on Friday, main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere recommended the establishment of an independent international forensic investigation into the Al Jazeera findings.

“On the 23rd of March 2023, Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit commenced the release of a four-part series that exposes severe allegations of money laundering, gold smuggling, illicit financial flows, underhand gold trading, abuse of diplomatic privileges and other corrupt activities by political elites and those closely connected to them.

“Although there remain two episodes to air, information and leads released so far demand the immediate establishment of an independent international forensic investigation into the shocking findings contained in the documentary,” read the statement.

Mahere further castigated the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and police for lacking political will to investigate gold smuggling activities exposed by Al Jazeera.

“We are deeply concerned by the severe disregard of formal state institutions by the persons named and referred to in the documentary,” Mahere said.

“There is a strong suggestion that political elites are deliberately setting up personal networks of businesspersons-cum-criminals that operate to undermine constitutional accountability.

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“It is a matter of regret that state institutions that are constitutionally mandated to investigate and bring to book those reasonably suspected of corruption, maladministration and criminal abuse of office including the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission neglect to investigate the issues and act as would be expected.

“The documentary further raises a serious concern for Zimbabwean citizens that there is a link between the illicit gold trade and political finance intended to capture state institutions in the forthcoming elections which poses a potential threat to the constitutional imperatives and safeguards set out in the Constitution.

“These safeguards are designed to ensure the best interests of the citizens are served at all times by accountable public officials created for that purpose and not shadowy parallel formations.”

Similarly, the People’s Unity Party (PUP) leader Herbert Chamuka this week said sanctions imposed by the United States (US) and other Western nations would remain intact until Zanu-PF mended its ways and desists from corruption.

In an interview Chamuka said the recently aired part one of the four part Al Jazeera documentary which featured ambassador at large Uebert Angel embroiled in murky gold smuggling exposed how gross state corruption was one of the major reasons sanctions would remain in place.

“Uebert Angel is seen in that documentary offering his diplomatic status to Mr Stanley, who could help the smuggling of US 1.2 billion from China to Zimbabwe and you think under such circumstances Zimbabwe will be removed from sanctions, with such corrupt leaders ruling the country.

“”They (Zanu PF) don’t want to win economic battles, they just want power so that they keep on looting and looting and brutalizing people.

“A lot of opposition parties are scared of Zanu-PF, even CCC, but as for us, we aren’t scared of them.

“We will keep on telling them that what they are doing is wrong and we want a country without corruption, violation of human rights and democracy,” Chamuka said.