Govt must respond to Gold Mafia exposé: MP Chibaya
THE opposition CCC’s Mkoba legislator Amos Chibaya has requested that Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi release a ministerial statement on Al Jazeera’s recent investigation into gold smuggling, money laundering and corruption, which has implicated many people, including President Emmerson Mnangagwa around whom the action-packed exposé pivots.
Chibaya was speaking during the National Assembly’s Tuesday sitting, a month after the government said it was investigating the matter.
“My point of national interest is to do with the issue of Gold Mafia published by Al Jazeera which is a serious issue to Zimbabwean citizens. I therefore request the minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs who is the leader of government business to come with a ministerial statement on the government’s position,” said Chibaya.
Al Jazeera released a four-part investigative report documentary from 23 March to 14 April 2023, which revealed how Mnangagwa’s inner circle was using proximity to the President to benefit from dirty deals, with his blessing.
President Mnangagwa has not commented on allegations raised in the documentary. Bosses of criminal syndicates were filmed saying they give regular payments to Mnangagwa to ensure their operations are not disrupted.
The Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda, said Chibaya’s request is invalid as the Public Accounts Committee is already seized with the scandal. “Your request has been overtaken by events.
The chairman of the Public Accounts Committee is seized with the matter,” said Mudenda.
As soon as Mudenda made this ruling, Kuwadzana East MP Chalton Hwende, who also sits on the Public Accounts Committee chaired by Brian Dube, rose on a point of clarity, saying he is not aware of the matter being before the committee.
Hwende was ordered to sit down by Mudenda. Before Chibaya’s request, Harare North MP Rusty Markham has also made a request in the august House to Deputy Speaker Tsitsi Gezi to compel the government to address the serious allegations raised in the Gold Mafia documentary and was assured that the Justice minister would be informed.
“Regarding the reports on Al Jazeera, the Parliament administration will convey the message to the responsible minister to come to the House and give you the answer. On the issue regarding pastors, I think it is prudent for you, honourable Markham, to come up with a motion so that the issues can be debated in this House,” said Gezi in her 29 March ruling.
The government made a public announcement on 4 April 2023, informing stakeholders that relevant security agencies were seized with the matter.
Four days later, on 8 April 2023, the Financial Intelligence Unit announced that it had frozen the accounts of implicated officials Cleopas Chidodo, David Chirozvi, Mehlululi Dube and Fredrick Kunaka.
When the public complained that the quartet constituted small fish in the laundry saga, Eubert Angel, Kamlesh Pattni and Ewan McMillan’s accounts were frozen but, still, tycoon Simon Rudland and Mnangagwa’s niece Henrietta Rushwaya remain uncensured