Arrest Eubert Angel: Hwende
KUWADZANA East legislator Chalton Hwende this week in Parliament cranked up pressure on the government to arrest President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Ambassador-at-Large to Europe and the Americas Uebert Angel over his abuse of diplomatic privileges exposed in the Al Jazeera documentary.
Angel offered to use his status to launder millions of dollars through a gold-smuggling scheme during an undercover operation by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit (I-Unit).
“My question is, what is government policy with regards to ambassadors who charge fees to people for facilitating meeting the President when those people are supposed to bring investment to this country?” asked Hwende.
Jacob Mudenda, the Speaker of the National Assembly, answered: “That question is very specific. If you know these people, you should have put forward a written question stating the ambassadors who are doing that. Ambassador A and B are saying that any potential investor who needs an appointment with the President must pay so much. Not all ambassadors do that.”
However, Hwende stood his ground.
“That is why I had asked what government’s policy is with regards to ambassadors who represent the country with regards to investment. I did not want to mention Eubert Angels’ name because it would become specific, but he is the ambassador who is charging US$200 000,” he said.
Mudenda finally gave in and allowed the leader of the House of the day, Monica Mutsvangwa, to respond.
“Government’s policy is to appoint ambassadors to represent the country out there. If this question is specific, he should put it in writing and put in the evidence and we direct that to the ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“I was an ambassador for a long time. An ambassador represents the needs of his or her country in accordance with the mandate that you are given by the President of your country; to put your country on the map and make sure that there is trade or export and make sure that there are good relations between the two countries,” she said.
In a supplementary question, Hwende challenged the government to arrest Angel.
“I thought the minister should have said yes or no, government’s policy does not allow ambassadors to charge anything but just to look for investment for the country,” he said.
Mudenda insisted that Mutsvangwa had answered the question appropriately, but Hwende would have none of it.
“She did not go straight to the point. That it is not government policy? Then arrest those who are doing that,” he said.
However, Mudenda ruled that the matter could not go on.
“I think the honourable minister’s response was quite comprehensive,” he said.
Angel, appointed ambassador-at-large and a presidential envoy by President Mnangagwa in March 2021, told reporters he would be able to carry large volumes of dirty cash into the country using his diplomatic status.
The 44-year-old, who claims to be a prophet and heads a congregation — the Good News Church — with branches in 15 countries, said he would facilitate a scheme through which unaccounted cash could be exchanged for Zimbabwe’s gold. Recipients of the gold could then sell the precious metal for legitimate money, effectively turning their cash clean.
Angel and his business partner Rikki Doolan also claimed that their laundering operations had the approval of Mnangagwa, who has been in power since November 2017, when Zimbabwe’s controversial former leader Robert Mugabe was ousted in a military coup.
“You want gold, gold we can do it right now, we can make the call right now, and it’s done,” Angel told Al Jazeera reporters. “It will land in Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe can’t touch it too until I get to my house. So, there can be a diplomatic plan.”
“So, it is a very, very easy thing,” he said.