CORRUPTION watchdog, Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) has urged government to revoke gold trade and export licences of individuals implicated in the Al Jazeera gold smuggling documentary.
Last week, international news channel Al Jazeera aired the first episode of the four-part gold smuggling syndicates in Zimbabwe titled Gold Mafia: The Laundry Service, which has rattled government after some top officials were implicated.
Al Jazeera is expected to air the second instalment tomorrow.
In a statement yesterday, TIZ said: “We call on the Financial Intelligence Unit, Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate further and cause necessary reforms to end such activities in the country.
“Law enforcement, anti-corruption agencies and regulatory authorities should immediately revoke gold trade and export licences given to the implicated individuals and corporations, pending an investigation into the allegations.
“New scandals of grand corruption and abuses of public office continue to emerge, which damages the country in the perspective of investors and development partners. Along with the shocking findings of the documentary, these results make clear that it’s time for the government to take stronger action against corruption and money-laundering.”
A shadowy organisation calling itself Friends of ED Mnangagwa Global Foundation has dismissed the Al Jazeera documentary, describing it as an attempt to influence people’s voting patterns in harmonised elections later this year.
The documentary shows how billions of dollars’ worth of gold was smuggled every month from Zimbabwe to Dubai, allowing Zanu PF top officials to clean dirty money through web shell companies, fake invoices and paid officials.
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Friends of ED Mnangagwa Global Foundation said the country has never recorded or reported a case of missing gold and the documentary was part of “malicious attempts” by the West to remove Mnangagwa from power.
“The timing of the current attempted onslaught on our natural resources is indicative of the usual desperation by regime change proponents to force their puppets onto the people of Zimbabwe, given the current clear indications that such puppets stand no chance in the forthcoming harmonised general elections,” the group said.
“An attempt to influence our people’s voting patterns will be treated as interference in our internal affairs and an attempt to manipulate electoral outcomes and, as such, it will be resisted. Our eyes remain firmly on the ball. In any case, and for the record, no report of missing gold has been reported in Zimbabwe.”