Auxillia drawn into Gold Mafia scandal

FIRST Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa featured in the fourth instalment of the Gold Mafia investigative documentary by Al Jazeera

FIRST Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has been implicated in money laundering and racketeering after she was captured talking to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ambassador at large, Uebert “Angel” Mudzanire, allegedly discussing a deal to launder US$1,2 billion.

She featured in the fourth instalment of the Gold Mafia investigative documentary by Al Jazeera. In the episode, Mudzanire allegedly called Auxillia, whom he called “mum” and asked for help to launder US$1,2bn.

Al Jazeera said it independently verified that the person at the other end of the call was Auxillia Mnangagwa.

“Remember those people that want to move cash,” Mudzanire asked her, speaking from the United Kingdom where he was meeting the undercover reporters.

“They would want to know, are we providing the planes or [are] they providing the planes?”

Auxillia responded: “How would I know?”

She said Mudzanire should ask ‘father, referring to President Mnangagwa.

“I will see him at six, right, and see how I best present this to him,” Angel replied.

“I will present it to him, then. Then he will discuss which planes he uses, his [Mnangagwa’s] or their own.”

When Mudzanire asked Auxillia if it was achievable to “move the cash,” Zimbabwe’s First Lady answered: “That’s right.”

Immediately after the call, Mudzanire told the undercover reporters: “You have got the President, you have got his family involved.

Auxillia is then heard saying Mudzanire should ask “father” about what mode of transport to use.

In the documentary, Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe head of security Cleopas Chidodo confirmed that the First Family’s luggage is not subject to searches at the airports.

“They can import anything and they do not search their luggage,” he said.

Mudzanire was the central figure in Al Jazeera’s investigation wherein he offered to launder cash into the country using his diplomatic status.

Undercover reporters secretly recorded him bragging about his close relations with Mnangagwa and how much power he had as a result.

The four-part investigative documentary by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit exposes the politically-connected gold smuggling gangs in Southern Africa that help criminals launder hundreds of millions of dollars and the extent of plunder in the southern African nation.

Government has since said it would investigate all individuals implicated in the documentary. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe last week froze the assets of Chidodo, David Chirozvi, Mehlululi Dube and Fredrick Kunaka, who told the undercover reporters that they were taking money to assist the gold-smuggling and money laundering ring.

Mudzanire’s lawyer Lovemore Madhuku yesterday told reporters that his client had no personal relationship with the First Family.

“My client wants to put right across that he has never ever done anything on behalf of the President, no deals or activities on behalf of the President. His relationship with the President of the Republic ED Mnangagwa is one of superior and subordinate.

“My client wants to make it clear that he has no relationship or whatsoever with members of the President’s family, he only has a relationship with the President which is a formal professional relationship. He wants to tell you that he has never met with the First Lady because his relationship is with the President,” Madhuku said.

Madhuku said Mudzanire has not been involved in any criminal activity.

“My client wants it known that he has not been, has never been and will never be involved in any criminal activities. He would like it to be stated that he has never been involved in any gold smuggling nor has he ever been engaged in money laundering by whatever name it’s called so the insinuations in the Al Jazeera documentary are only baseless,” he said.

“He is not on Zimbabwe pay, he is working for the interests of the country at the outset. As soon as my client was appointed it was made known to the whole world that he will be the President’s ambassador-at-large. There were several people in Europe and other parts of the world that wanted investments in the country with his facilitation, that is a fact.”

Related Topics