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Uebert Angel not off the hook

by Staff reporter
11 Jun 2023 at 21:35hrs | Views
Anti-corruption watchdogs have petitioned the Southern African Development Community (Sadc), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) to sanction President Emmerson Mnangagwa's special envoy Uebert Angel for allegedly abusing his diplomatic status.

The Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-SA) and the Zimbabwe Women against Corruption Trust (ZWACT) made the call in a joint mini report on how transnational organised crime syndicates work, citing the Al Jazeera expose on gold smuggling and money laundering.

Their report titled: Fighting Transnational Organised Crime (TOC): The Case of the Zimbabwean Gold Mafia explains how and why gold mafias managed to steal the country's resources.

In the Al Jazeera documentary, Angel was recorded by undercover journalists offering to use his status to launder millions of dollars through a gold-smuggling scheme.

"Sadc, AU and UN member states hosting diplomats abusing diplomatic immunity and privileges should consider sanctioning the rogue diplomats," the anti-corruption watchdog said in their report.

The report was researched and written by ACT-SA director Obert Chinhamo and ZWACT leader Sandra Matendere.

The Civil Society Organisations Initiative for Stolen Asset Recovery in Southern Africa (CSO-ISARSA) and the Zimbabwe Civil Society Anti-Corruption Coalition (ZCSACC) provided additional review and editorial work on the final production.

"ACT-SA, ZWACT, members of the ZCSACC and the CSO-ISARSA are increasingly concerned about the phenomenon of transnational organised crime and how it is used by its protagonists to cement power at the detriment of the world citizenry," reads the report.   

Angel also claimed that their laundering operations had the approval of the presidency.

"We hope that relevant authorities will investigate and take punitive action against all those fingered in the underworld and upper world gold smuggling, money laundering and corruption," the report reads.

"Countries of destination of the dirty gold and/or where individuals and entities implicated reside or operate from should cooperate and investigate all individuals and entities implicated in the scandal.

"Authorities in Dubai, Zimbabwe and South Africa should all utilise the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) provisions on mutual cooperation, investigating and punishing individuals and entities implicated in gold smuggling and money laundering.

"Government should take necessary measures within its means to safeguard or protect natural resources."

The UNCAC is the only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument.

"Government should put into action at the country level the implementation of the Accelerated IFF Agenda and the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) seeking to address illicit financial flows (IFFs) to ensure that African economic resources support African economic growth — and that growth improves living standards for all," read the report.

Government was initially mum on the Al Jazeera expose, with some officials dismissing it as propaganda.

There was a public outcry that forced government into a major climb-down, promising to investigate the scandal.

Source - The Standard