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What does Zim govt now want to 'investigate' when they've already dismissed Al Jazeera exposé as lies?

05 Apr 2023 at 12:34hrs | Views
If the Zimbabwe regime were a soccer player, he would be the highest goal scorer!

Although, not known for his prolific scoring against opponents - but, into his own net (own goals)!

That is what the Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa administration has always been notorious for over the past years.

In fact, I always assert that this government has done more to damage and tarnish its own reputation - than any so-called 'detractors or agents of regime change' (the favorite scapegoats).

This time around, the Mnangagwa government did not disappoint - as they did everything exactly according to script - shooting themselves in the foot over and over again.

Watching these people in action is like enjoying a hilarious comedy show!

Only that, this is no skit - but, involves the lives of real people - most of whom being the ordinary citizenry, who are left to suffer the consequences, through untold agony and poverty.

After having virtually dismissed the ongoing documentary by Qatari broadcaster, Al Jazeera - exposing gold smuggling and money laundering, potentially entangling the highest office in Zimbabwe, as utter nonsense and lies - the government now tells us that they have instituted investigations into the matter.

Wow, how disingenuous and confused can one get?

Or, as has been the norm by those in power - this is a clumsy response to being trapped in a tight corner, from which it has become more and more difficult to escape.

It Is akin to someone caught in a noose - and, the more they pull, the tighter the strangle.

In fact, the press conference by information minister Monica Mutsvangwa was eerily symbolic of the chaos, confusion and comedy that is the Zimbabwe regime - held amidst irritatingly noisy sounds of hammering and other repair work.

After spending the past three weeks - ever since the first installation of the Al Jazeera exposé - the authorities in Harare had never even officially commented on these very serious allegations of gold smuggling and money laundering.

Surely, what normal government would not immediately stand up and react in the face of confessions by individuals caught on camera - not only offering to smuggle gold and launder money in the billions of dollars - but also, boldly and confidently naming the president himself of being the head of this so-called 'Gold Mafia'?

What people, if they genuinely believed that all these allegations were wild, defamatory and outrageous, would simply act as if nothing of the sort was ever uttered?

In fact, the Zimbabwe administration - with guilt written all over its forehead - bizarrely resorted to their usual excitable rabid permanent secretaries in information portfolios, fanatical supporters, and nameless ZANU PF social media trolls.

Who does that - when faced with such grave accusations?

The main narrative spewed by all these mouthpieces and sycophants was purely dismissive of this exposé as a work of pure fiction - propagated by 'the country's  detractors and agents of regime change', who sought to soil the ruling establishment's image.

Nonetheless, as we have repeatedly witnessed numerous times before - this regime does not need to be tarnished by anyone - since, they are quite capable of doing it to themselves quite perfectly!

Then, there were those who sought to sanitize these clear cases of gold smuggling and money laundering - weirdly claiming this as some form of 'sanctions busting'.

In the same process, feigning ignorance of the fact that Zimbabwe's gold (or, any other mineral, for that matter) was not under any sanctions - neither was the RBZ (Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, whose FPR (Fidelity Printers and Refiners) was the official buyer and seller of gold in the country.

This is an undeniable fact also reiterated by the RBZ governor, John Mangudya - who issued a press statement immediately after the release of the initial snippets of the documentary - making it abundantly clear that Zimbabwe's trade in its minerals was not sanctioned by anyone, and the country could trade freely across the globe.

This effectively meant that there was absolutely no need of resorting to any supposed 'sanctions busting' - throwing that claim (and, any such where these restrictions have been used to excuse government failures) into the dustbin, in which they belong.

We also witnessed, in sheer bewilderment, a section that had the audacity of alleging that such criminal activities were actually above-board, and even beneficial to the country - since, the gold in question was paid for, and no miners were prejudiced

Wow, can ignorance reach such heights?

For crying our loud, we are talking about money laundering here!

Yes, when dirty money is being cleaned - which is what is meant by laundering - it goes through channels that appear legitimate and legal.

The gold was indeed bought and miners paid - but, the real question is, "From where, and through what means, did the money used in procuring that gold derived"?

Based on the 'Gold Mafia' documentary - those caught on camera freely and proudly agreeing to launder cash, were fully aware that what they were being offered was dirty money (earned through illegal means) - which now needed to be cleaned by buying up gold in Zimbabwe.

Those filmed also admitted that they did this all the time - boasting of laundering and smuggling billions of dollars in dirty money and gold.

Therefore, as much as the gold was indeed paid for - this was as a way of cleaning dirty money - which is illegal according to both Zimbabwe and international laws.

Furthermore, the gold 'bought' was smuggled out of the country, according to those filmed, with the explicit knowledge of high-ranking authorities - to Dubai, UAE (United Arab Emirates), where it was resold.

Yet, on these smugglers' return to Zimbabwe, they declared billions of dollars, which they did not actually have - as a substantial amount would have been left in Dubai, in bank accounts linked those involved - further prejudicing the country of its gold money.

Again, this was done with the knowledge and complicit of those in power.

How, then, could anyone with a grain of intelligence even perceive this as a form of 'sanctions busting', or above board gold trading, or beneficial to Zimbabwe?

When those who accused 'agents of regime change' for peddling lies, with the intent of 'tarnishing the image of Zimbabwe and its leaders' where making their wild claims - on what grounds did these criminal acts, uttered straight from the proverbial 'horse's mouth' betray the hand of any 'detractors'.

Were these things not being said by those aligned to the ruling elite - who not only incriminated themselves, but also the highest office in the land?

Where was the opposition involved in all this?

As such, it was also shocking learning of the threats made by George Charamba (presidential spokesman) - to the effect that, any journalist who reported these statements by those filmed in the exposé would be jailed for defamation!

Wow, really Cde Charamba!

If these accusations of the implicit involvement of the head of state were scandalous and defamatory - then, should the people behind bars not be the ones who uttered them, right there in global media - in this regard, false prophet Urbert Angel, his sidekick Rokki Doolan, and convicted gold smuggler Ewan Macmillian?

Why are they freemen right now - yet, those merely doing their work of reporting what was said, are being muzzled and threatened with arrest?

After all has been said and done, the greatest shock was hearing that information minister Mutsvangwa finally issued a statement - to the effect that the government was taking these allegations made in the Al Jazeera documentary seriously!

So, after three weeks of totally ignoring the very grave criminal accusations - prejudicing our country billions of dollars, but only option for denials and outright distortions of facts by permanent secretaries and shady characters - the Mnangagwa regime has decided to finally act!

What I am curious to know is to what extent will these supposed 'investigations' go?

Who exactly are they going to probe?

We already know that such people are Angel, Doolan, and Macmillian have brought in the president' name.

What I find rather troubling is that this has already been dismissed - based on the minister's press release - as mere 'boastful behavior and name dropping by personalities seeking personal gain and glory'.

So I take it that, before these so-called 'investigations' have even gone anywhere - there are those repeatedly named in the documentary who have already been exonerated and will not be locked into?

If that is the case, as surely the statement by Mutsvangwa appears to intimate, then this entire process is a whole big sham!

It is now undeniably clear to both the country and world that Zimbabwean authorities are emitting a very foul stink of fish - which all of us can distinctly smell!

There is nothing of significance to genuinely expect from this government - except, possibly, placing on the altar of expediency one or two sacrificial lambs.

However, it is quite obvious that the real god-fathers of this gold smuggling and money laundering will remain untouchable and untouched.

What is there to be particularly surprised?


This is Zimbabwe - where crooks and criminals rule with impunity - whilst those who actually fight and expose corruption live in constant danger.

- Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice advocate, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to WhatsApp or Call: +263715667700 | +263782283975, or email:

Source - Tendai Ruben Mbofana
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