Corruption affecting economic recovery

Findings from Al Jazeera investigations highlights that Zimbabwe has been losing over 50kg of gold per week, however, there is a possibility that other minerals are being smuggled the same way.

ZIMBABWE Women Against Corruption Trust is a non-political, non-profit making organisation mandated to fight corruption focusing on its devastating impact on women and girls in Zimbabwe.

ZWACT has been following the Al Jazeera documentary episode one to four which has revealed alleged money laundering, organised crime and corruption in Zimbabwe and other countries featured in the documentary. 

Findings from Al Jazeera investigations highlights that Zimbabwe has been losing over 50kg of gold per week, however, there is a possibility that other minerals are being smuggled the same way.

Resource leakages have negative impact on the economy because when the government fails to collect enough revenue due to tax evasion, it will result in limited or lack of responsiveness to people’s needs.

Inasmuch as we acknowledge that corruption affects everyone, women and children severely suffer because they rely on government for basic services such as water and sanitation, healthcare and education. Unavailability or shortage of essential medicine is common in public health institution whereas pregnant women face challenges to access quality maternal care which may result in an increase in maternal mortality rate.

From the Al Jazeera documentary, we learnt that criminals have been operating for many years without being caught. Anti-corruption institutions should be well capacitated and strengthened with latest technology which can enable them to investigate and clampdown on organised crime syndicates.

Zimbabwe signed and ratified a number of regional and international instruments which include United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and United Nations Convention Against Organised Crime (UNTOC) but according to Organised Crime Index 2021, the legislative framework on organised crimes in Zimbabwe is weakly developed.

Closer to the findings from Al Jazeera documentary, the Global Organised Crime Index 2021 highlights that in Zimbabwe there is strong indication since the late 1980s of political and other government office holders abusing their respective positions and taking part in activities that are criminal or illicit. The index noted that some of the longest serving political figures have allegedly long been part of criminal networks.

Looting of natural resources is identified as one of the indications of a predatory elite which enriches itself to the detriment of the country. The organised crime index also noted that despite overwhelming evidence of organised criminal activity, convictions are rarely secured.

In addition, there is limited information on the practical implementation of co-ordinated measures against money laundering in the country.

The index also noted that corruption within Zimbabwe has a role in the increase of organised crimes as the corruption levels remains high at the expense of transparency in public institutions.

The Al Jazeera documentary clearly revealed how politically-exposed persons take advantage of their proximity to power to enrich themselves. Corruption which is defined as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain is clearly revealed in the documentary where diplomatic immunity is visibly abused.

As ZWACT, we are concerned with the revelations of Al Jazeera documentary, therefore, we recommend the government to consider engaging an independent commission of inquiry to thoroughly investigate the findings and make sure that those who are found guilty face the full wrath of the law without fear or favour.

We also expect to see co-operation between countries in order to facilitate the freezing of assets belonging to those involved in various forms of organised crime.-Zimbabwe Women Against Corruption Trust


Parties should ensure zero tolerance to violence

AS the country gears up for the 2023 harmonised elections, the Election Resource Centre (ERC) notes the selection process held by the Citizens Coalition for Change  for councillors and Members of Parliament who will contest in the 2023 harmonised elections.

The Electoral Act is clear on political parties to ensure that their members desist from violent conduct

As political parties and candidates continue to campaign for the 2023 harmonised elections, we urge all;

  • To exercise tolerance across the political divide and to conduct themselves in high esteem.
  • To peacefully exercise their right to campaign in the confines of the law.
  • To ensure that internal processes are transparent to minimise discontentment that may lead to the eruption of violence and unnecessary tensions.-Election Resource Centre


Heads must roll over Gold Mafia exposè


THE Southern African Anti-Corruption Coalition (SAACoN) notes with grave concern alleged grand acts of illicit gold trading and money laundering in the mining sector in Zimbabwe linked to Al Jazeera’s Gold Mafia documentary.

An investigation by Al Jazeera exposed underworld gold trading, and money laundering facilitated through a transnational organised syndicate comprising individuals and entities that abuse diplomatic and presidential immunities and privileges to facilitate corruption. The documentary exposed several individuals linked to the government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) and the ruling Zanu PF party and institutions such as banks in Dubai, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

The four-part documentary titled The Gold Mafia was filmed by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit (I-Unit), based on dozens of undercover operations spanning three continents and thousands of documents. It exposed how huge amounts of gold are clandestinely smuggled every month from Zimbabwe, Africa’s sixth-largest gold producer, to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, aiding money laundering through an intricate web of shell companies, fake invoices and paid-off officials. Uebert Angel, the Presidential Envoy and Ambassador-at-large to Europe and the Americas since March 2021, was secretly filmed bragging that he could move $1,2bn easily, due to his diplomatic immunity and privileges.

 It has become evident that diplomatic immunity and privileges are being weaponised to commit transnational crimes by these syndicates.

Other individuals filmed and named in the documentary as being part of smuggling rings include Zimbabwe Miners Federation President Henrietta Rushwaya who is believed to be the niece of President Emmerson Mnangagwa — and Kamlesh Pattni, a businessman previously involved in a gold smuggling scandal in Kenya.

It is believed that Pattni, has strong connections to the ruling Zanu PF political party. In October 2020, Rushwaya was arrested at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport for attempting to smuggle gold to Dubai. She was acquitted under controversial circumstances after the National Prosecuting Authority revealed there was not enough evidence for a conviction which public opinion vehemently disputed.

In addition to Uebert Angel, Henrietta Rushwaya, and Lamkesh Pattni. Other individuals fingered as part of the syndicate include Simon Rudland, Ewan Macmillan and Rikki Doolan. Macmillan is a Zimbabwean gold dealer and businessman while Doolan is a British preacher.-Southern African Anti-Corruption Coalition

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