PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s envoy Uebert Angel has made startling responses to gold corruption exposures about him and others by undercover Al Jazeera.
Speaking through his lawyer Lovemore Madhuku during a press conference on Friday in Harare, Angel said in all that he was recorded saying was part of a classified intelligence operation to spy on the undercover journalists and obtain information critical for Zimbabwe’s national security.
Madhuku said Angel was playing along to what the undercover journalists were demanding so as to obtain as much information on how far enemies of Zimbabwe could go in trying to destabilise the country.
“Those people (Al Jazeera undercover journalists) approached one of the assistants of my client (Angel) seeking his assistance for them to invest in Zimbabwe. He asked how much they knew about them and they said they had known them for two years. My client then subjected those people to intelligence checks through the national framework of intelligence for this country. He (Angel) was advised by the intelligence operatives that they had serious doubts on the people and it was not advisable for them to meet the President. The national intelligence discovered that those people had dangerous intentions not only to the country but the President himself,” Madhuku said.
“So this led to what we call classified intelligence operation which meant that my client would play along and would not cancel engaging them. So it was in the context of a national intelligence operation. Zimbabwe wanted to gain intelligence out of it to see how far its enemies could go and what their intentions ere.
“So that was the context. Ordinarily these things are not told to the public but because of the intensity of the documentary to the integrity of the operations of government systems, my client felt he had a moral obligation to explain.
“There may be inconsistencies in what is in my explanation that he was playing along and what is in the documentary because at some time there were views that perhaps what the intelligence thought those people were up to could be wrong and they were genuine investors,” said Madhuku.
He claimed that calls which were shown with Angel making to Henrietta Rushwaya and Family Lady Auxillia Rushwaya were fake and “decoys”.
“What you see in the documentary is not real. It’s difficult to understand because you don’t live in the world of intelligence and so do not understand how it works,” Madhuku told the reporters who immediately burst into laughter.
The Constitutional lawyer also claimed that Angel has never done anything criminal like gold smuggling, money laundering, abuse of his diplomatic privileges and closeness to the First Family. From the first to the last episode, Angel has been playing a leading role in revealing how the gold mafia works.
He has exposed President Emmerson Mnangagwa as a person who accepts bribes and is filthy rich. He has also exposed the role Mnangagwa’s niece Henrieta Rushwaya plays in gold smuggling syndicates which use planes to plunder Zimbabwe’s gold.
In the third episode, he suggested to the undercover reporters that they could give the head of state a gift of over US$ 1 million as appreciation for his involvement in ensuring that the deal to clean US$1.2 billion of black money succeeded.
“There is a big difference in appreciating somebody and bribing. At this level, people don’t bribe . . . There is somebody saying thank you for everything you are doing for us. Big difference because he is just not that kind of a person. “His election I think they are spending something like US$240 million and that is his money. It’s not the party, it is his money. So when somebody got that money to spend on election campaign, you give him one million, it’s like a slap in the face, unless you say this is thank you,” Angel he said.