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Mutsvangwa exposes former RBZ governor over gold looted by Arabs

HARARE – In a shocking exposé that further seals the history of looting of Zimbabwe’s precious minerals, Zanu-PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa on Monday admitted that the county’s gold worth millions was looted by Arabs through the facilitation of a former central bank governor whose name he did not mention.

Mutsvangwa revealed the damning story during an explosive press briefing where he blasted economists who are criticizing the newly introduced Zimbabwe currency, the ZiG.

The new money, which is backed by gold and foreign currency reserves, has attracted mixed opinions from analysts, politicians, ordinary people, and businesses due to Zimbabwe’s historical currency crisis.

Against this background, Mutsvangwa defended Zimbabwe’s potential to back its currency with the yellow metal. He, however, stated that a similar plan that involved the exchange of gold for US dollars in the past led to the looting of the country’s minerals by the Arabs.

He did not mention the governor who was involved in the transactions. What he clearly stated is that the current Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor, John Mushayavanhu, was not involved.

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Zimbabwe has had seven RBZ governors since independence.

“We had our gold reserves. Then, the Americans imposed sanctions. Then we were short of US dollars. Our Reserve Bank Governor then, I won’t mention the name. These days, I’m not mentioning names. He engaged outsiders who had access to the US dollars in the Arab world.

“They sell oil in US dollars, which supports what is called the PetroDollar,” Mutsvangwa said.

“So, they said ‘we can give you US dollars’ to the governor who went back to his principal, ‘but on condition that you support it with your gold.

“So it was agreed that we exchange our gold reserves then for US dollars. But for the transaction to be complete, the Arabs demanded or requested that the gold move from our own vaults outside of the country to where they can see the gold themselves, which our former governor duly obliged.

“The story gets murky after that, according to the former president. The gold reserves are gone. The US dollars don’t come. So he had a very facile explanation that the ‘Alibba stole our gold.”

Below is the list of Mushayavanhu’s predecessors:

Desmond Krogh (1980-1983) – Transitional governor from Reserve Bank of Rhodesia

Kombo James Moyana (1983-1993)

Leonard Tsumba (1993-June 2003)

Charles Chikaura (June 2003-December 2003) – Acting Governor

Gideon Gono (2003-2013)

Charity Dhliwayo (2013-2014) – Acting Governor

John Mangudya (2014-April 2024)

Last year, Al Jazeera’s documentary, “The Gold Mafia,” exposed a complex scheme involving Zimbabwean officials and criminal networks smuggling gold out of the country.

The documentary used undercover reporting and document analysis to reveal a network of gold smugglers allegedly linked to Zimbabwe’s government.

The investigation suggested collusion between government officials and smugglers. This allowed them to bypass international sanctions placed on Zimbabwe.

The exposé revealed how smuggled gold was funneled through Dubai, using shell companies and fake invoices to launder money. Billions of dollars were allegedly involved.

The documentary sparked outrage in Zimbabwe, with citizens upset about the alleged corruption and lost resources.

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