By Leopold Munhende
AL JAZEERA finally dropped its explosive documentary exposing how hundreds of millions worth of gold was being smuggled out to Dubai by a well knit circle of high ranking officials who include Ambassador at Large Uebert Angel and the controversial Henrietta Rushwaya.
Titled ‘The Laundry Service,’ the first of four episodes, sees Angel offering his diplomat status to undercover Al Jazeera journalists posing as potential clients for use in smuggling of US$1.2 billion into Zimbabwe from Macau and Hong Kong.
The dirty money, smuggled via ‘headquarters’ in Dubai is then used to purchase gold from artisanal miners through government’s Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) for sale out of the country.
This is alleged to be the New Dispensation’s plan to bust ‘sanctions.’
In the video, the self proclaimed Prophet, in cahoots with Rushwaya presents himself as the central figure in his interactions with Mr. Stanley, the undercover journalist.
“We have done maybe US$100 to US$300 million but not one billion per se,” claims Angel.
“I am the second largest diplomat in the country. You know I can carry him in a bag and no one can touch that bag, no one is allowed .
”Right now I can have a bag like this with US$1.2 billion and put a red tape written diplomat, that’s it.
“It is a very, very easy thing. It will land in Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe can’t touch it until it gets to my house.”
He however is not the only one involved in the process, according to the documentary hundreds of millions more worth of gold are being smuggled by similar syndicates.
Shadowy businessman Simon Rudland, Kenyan born Kamleshi Pattni who had to flee his country of birth for Zimbabwe and a series of couriers are implicated.
Documents from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and FPR are flung throughout the film to support agreements and purchases of gold between government and those implicated.
This is despite RBZ Governor John Panonetsa Mangudya’s fervent rebuttal of the allegations earlier this month.
“It is particularly strange that the reports claim that ‘through the Bank, Government is using illicit ways as a scheme to bust international sanctions placed on political leaders and government entities’. The Bank is not a sanctioned entity, and the cited individuals are not sanctioned persons either,” Mangudya said.
Ewan “Mr. Gold” Macmillan, whose clip calling Vice President Constantino Chiwenga a dunderhead once circulated, acknowleges that Pattni moves more gold than him but accuses him of being a thief.
Adds Pattni: “Right now they are quite stable. They are happy, they are recovering well.. the good thing is that their President (Emmerson Mnangagwa) listens.”
The episode ends with Angel demanding a US$200,000 facilitation fee from the undercover journalists, for them to meet Mnangagwa who was then attending COP 23.