By Anna Chibamu
AN opposition legislator has demanded answers from government over the Aljazeera ‘Gold Mafia’ documentary exposing alleged money laundering and shady gold deals by individuals claiming links to top government officials.
Speaking in Parliament Tuesday, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Harare North MP Rusty Markham said an audit of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and its Fidelity Printers unit should be carried out to ascertain losses the country has incurred through the corrupt gold deals.
“This week the nation was treated to some media on the gold mafia. I am shocked at the silence that the government has treated this report,” said Markham.
“My concern is there are four (documentary) reports that are coming out. Could we ask the minister responsible – whether it is Finance, Home Affairs or Justice I am not sure – but could the relevant ministry give us an answer to what is exactly happening on what has been exposed.”
He added; “I would immediately recommend to the minister to call, as has been called by the public, for an audit or an independent investigation into Fidelity Printers and the RBZ.
“It is absolutely shocking that we have said and done nothing about it.”
Markham castigated the clergy for being involved in the corrupt activities in the name of religion.
Uebert Angel, born Uebert Mudzanire; a British-Zimbabwean businessman and pastor has been implicated in the alleged illegal gold dealings.
He was also appointed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Ambassador At Large to Europe and the Americas.
“My second issue and it also embraces anyone in this country who claims to have a religion behind him with all this adultery happening in the name of pastors and the church,” said the CCC legislator.
“I believe that it is high time for this House to look at all the licences and the so-called duty-free statuses and tax-free statuses of all these so-called pastors because it is actually a business.
“They are not serving the people, they are serving themselves and the investments are in their own names, not in the name of the people and yet our government remains silent.”
The MP urged responsible ministries involved to at least take action against those implicated or resign if they cannot handle the matters.
“If the the ministers had any integrity in them, there should have been some resignation or at least an answer.
“The fact that they did not resign means that they must be dismissed. The fact that they have not been dismissed means they are involved or incompetent or both.”
Responding, Deputy Speaker Tsitsi Gezi responded said; “Regarding the reports on Al Jazeera, the Parliament administration will convey the message to the responsible Minister to come to the House and give you the answer.
“On the issue regarding pastors, I think it is prudent for you Hon. Markham to come up with a motion so that the issues can be debated in this House,” Gezi said.
Al Jazeera released the first of its four-part documentary series on corruption and looting in Zimbabwe last Thursday.
The series exposes the alleged activities of some government officials, prophets, pastors, as well as business people said to be profiting from illegal movement of gold deals.