CONTROVERSIAL gold dealer Ewan Macmillan has been caught on camera making racial slurs against Africans despite bragging of having close connections with the continent’s leaders.
Despite constitutional guarantees against any forms of racial segregation, Zimbabwe’s society remains deeply divided along racial lines 43 years after gaining independence.
Macmillan, whose family has worked closely with one of the country’s biggest gold traders Pedzisayi “Scott” Sakupwanya, made the inept remarks in the latest episode of the Al Jazeera Gold Mafia docuseries which exposed complex networks of money laundering and gold smuggling syndicates working both inside and outside Zimbabwe.
“Do me a favour. Whatever you do listen to what I say. Don’t invest with a black guy. You will die. They will tell you just lies. You will invest, you will lose all your money. Do not trust any black person, Macmillan said in the 1 hour 13 minutes-long episode titled Gold Mafia: Have the King with you.
During the same documentary, Macmillan was caught on camera assuring undercover reporters posing as Chinese gangsters seeking to launder money that he was connected to the most influential people on the continent.
The investigation, which has riled the authorities and some Zanu PF activists, reveals how syndicates have turned Western sanctions meant to target Zimbabwe’s government into an opportunity to smuggle large quantities of gold and launder hundreds of millions of dollars through a complex web of companies and bribes.
Al Jazeera reporters, posing as gangsters looking to launder large sums of money, were offered several ways to remove all stains of corruption from their dirty cash. Cash-strapped Zimbabwe needs hard currency because the country’s own currency has lost its value in international trade due to hyperinflation.
Analysts say a commodity like gold is a good way to earn greenbacks, but international sanctions imposed on the country make it difficult for the government to export gold because of the additional scrutiny on officials in power.