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You’ll soon be spending time with Sikhala! – Mnangagwa spokesman threatens media arrests over Gold Mafia coverage

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By Anna Chibamu


PRESIDENTIAL spokesperson George Charamba  has warned that “there is a limit to provocation we can take”, raising the prospect of media arrests over the reporting of the Al Jazeera ‘Gold Mafia’ documentary series.

The Qatar-based satellite channel is running a four-part documentary series exposing a gold mafia with alleged links to top government officials and reportedly using the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to launder the proceeds.

A clip from the second part scheduled for broadcast this Thursday features ex-convict and gold dealer Ewan Macmillan claiming to business links to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Charamba, using one of his Twitter handles then warned; “Vamwe vanhu tichavigira sadza kuboma; farisai muchidaro. Munonovaraidzana naSikhala manje manje. There is a limit to provocation we can take.”

Below, Charamba elaborated his threat in an exchange with ZimLive Editor Mduduzi Mathuthu.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has since dismissed the Al Jazeera documentary and threatened legal action over its money laundering allegations.

“The bank reserves its right to take appropriate legal action or initiate necessary sanctions against the interviewees and purveyors of the fake news to protect its fiduciary responsibilities in the national interests,” said RBZ governor John Mangudya.

A tycoon implicated in the Gold Mafia allegations, Simon Rudland, has also demanded a retraction from Al Jazeera, and also threatened legal action.

“I urge Al Jazeera to retract their statements and issue a public apology. Notwithstanding this, I will in, any event, be instituting legal action against the media house for severe reputational harm caused,” Rudland said in a statement.