The documentary reportedly exposes President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his cronies, prompting government officials to scramble on how to address the issue.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has already launched an investigation into a potential gold smuggling scandal involving Ewan Macmillan, a gold baron, and Uebert Angel, a millionaire preacher based in the United Kingdom.
The central bank’s actions appear to be an attempt to pre-empt the Al Jazeera exposé on gold smuggling, corruption, and money laundering that may involve high-ranking government officials and their associates.
The FIU has requested information from the Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPEC) concerning the businesses of Macmillan and Angel.
“The Insurance and Pensions Commission (the Commission) is required in terms of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act [Chapter 9:24], to coordinate with FIU in the assessment of the money laundering and terrorist financing risks to which the country is exposed,” wrote the FIU in leaked correspondence to the IPEC on Monday.
It appears that President Mnangagwa has already thrown Angel under the bus, as it has emerged that he is under investigation for alleged money-laundering.
The leader of Spirit Embassy Church was named alongside local gold dealer Macmillan, who is also reportedly under investigation by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Financial Intelligence Unit.
Zimbabwe corruption documentary
The Al Jazeera documentary, titled “Unveiling Zimbabwe’s Dark Secrets: Al Jazeera Exposes Looting, Plunder and Money Laundering,” had its first episode ‘Gold Mafia’ released on Thursday.
The first episode of the four-part documentary aired on Al Jazeera’s YouTube channel, has shocking details of gold smuggling implicating Mnangagwa’s niece, Henrietta Rushwaya.
In another episode to be screened later, MacMillan refers to one comrade Chiwenga, believed to be Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, as a “dunderhead” and says they control 90% of the Zimbabwe government.
According to reports, officials from the Information and Publicity ministry have been struggling to handle the revelations presented in the documentary.
Speaking about the situation, ministry secretary Nick Mangwana admitted that corruption was a problem within the country, but claimed that the authorities were working to combat it.
It is believed that Mangwana’s statement was an attempt to pre-empt the documentary’s impact.
Zimbabwe has been previously ranked as one of the most corrupt nations in the world by anti-corruption watchdogs.
The revelation of further corruption within the government is sure to raise concerns among citizens, particularly with the upcoming 2023 elections.
In response to the documentary, civil society groups have called for the government to take swift action to address the issue.
Speaking about the situation, one representative from a civil society group stated, “We cannot continue to tolerate corruption within our government. The people of Zimbabwe deserve better, and we call on our leaders to take immediate action to address this issue.”
Additional episodes of the documentary will be aired in the coming weeks, and it remains to be seen what impact it will have on the country’s political landscape.
However, it is clear that the revelations presented in the documentary have already sparked concern and raised questions about the government’s commitment to combating corruption.