Politics

Mixed reactions over govt’s response to Al Jazeera “Gold Mafia” Documentary

There have been conflicting reactions to the statement’s release following the government’s decision to launch investigations into the claims made in the Al Jazeera “Gold Mafia” documentary, in which Ambassador Uebert Angel and others are accused of engaging in gold smuggling, corruption, fraud, and other illegal activities.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said while addressing a press conference in Harare yesterday, any person who has engaged in corruption will face the full wrath of the law.

She also urged those who engage in name-dropping and boastful behaviour, as seen in the documentary that claims to expose a countrywide network of alleged money laundering and gold smuggling, to stop doing so.

Two of a four-part investigative series that aims to reveal the activities of a syndicate of gold smugglers, money launderers, illegal cigarette smugglers, and racketeers has already been aired by the Qatari television news network Al Jazeera.

READ ALSO: Govt To Punish Gold Mafia Criminals

The first two episodes focused on the group’s activities in Zimbabwe, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates.

In response to the claims made in the documentary, Minister Mutsvangwa stated that the government is still investigating the matter and will keep the country updated on any new information.

“Government takes the allegations raised in the documentary seriously and has directed relevant organs to institute investigations into the issues raised therein.

“Any person found to have engaged in acts of corruption, fraud or any form of crime will face the full wrath of the law,” she said.

Minister Mutsvangwa said Zimbabwe is a law-abiding nation that will continue to act as such.

“Government takes this opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to upholding local and international laws, including laws relating to financial transactions, the trade of gold and other precious minerals.

“Boastful behaviour and name-dropping by some personalities featured in the documentary, seeking personal gain and glory should never be taken as an enunciation of Government policy,” she said.

Meanwhile, government supporter and anti-sanctions crusader Rutendo Matinyarare has dismissed Minster Mutsvangwa’s response as “ill-advised” and an admission by the government of real crime having been committed.

In a Tweet, he said;

ILL-ADVISED STATEMENT BY MINISTRY

Upon review, this statement from the Ministry of Information in Zimbabwe is concerning. Its timing is unfortunate as it arrives after two whole weeks after the documentary first aired.

Additionally, it suggests that the Ministry accepts certain or all of the claims made in the Al Jazeera documentary, based solely on edited remarks and narratives thereof, without consideration for the accused parties’ perspective or a complete analysis of the recorded conversations.

Without further investigation or trial, this response is comparable to the Ministry accepting that sanctions against the Zimbabwean government are due to human rights violations.

The statement imputes culpability without due process. As someone who advised members of the ministry to create a crisis management committee, I find this statement as failing to protect the integrity of the nation.

Matinyarare has been very vocal on social and South African media defending the Gold Mafia.

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