ONE of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s fatal flaws is his dangerous assumption that Stone Age political tactics can bring wonderful success in the 21st century.
After spending too many years living in the shadows, he now forgets that the world is watching his every move.
How does a head of state consort with an entire gang of convicted criminals, self-confessed money launderers and smugglers?
How on earth does he hope to retain a veneer of respectability after an international news network has aired a four-part investigative documentary exposing the criminal actions of people directly linked to him?
With typical impunity, the Mnangagwa regime has sought to flippantly dismiss the Gold Mafia exposé as a work of fiction.
But in their desperate attempts to pour cold water on the Al Jazeera report, the officials in Harare have entangled themselves in a Gordian knot of absurdities.
From the word go, it was always going to be a tough task for them. Picture this: It is early days and Al Jazeera has been broadcasting snippets or teasers of the scandalous report.
The international news channel makes it clear that this investigative report will be a massive bombshell.
As all this unfolds, you can imagine Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya sitting forlornly in his air-conditioned skyscraper on Samora Machel Avenue, pondering his next move.
He has not yet watched the damaging documentary at this point but, instead of exercising patience, he rushes to issue a kneejerk statement denying any wrongdoing on the part of the central bank.
Apart from being ill-advised at that moment, Mangudya’s statement inadvertently turns out to be a veritable gold mine for story-hunting journalists. In his rushed statement, the central bank boss categorically asserts that the RBZ has no reason to smuggle gold as Zimbabwe’s precious metal is not under sanctions.
This revelation is remarkable, not least because there are regime apologists who have been at pains to peddle the threadbare narrative that the smuggling of gold is unavoidable in view of so-called Western economic sanctions on Zimbabwe.
Now that Mangudya has openly revealed that there are no sanctions on gold, how will the Zanu PF government continue hiding behind a finger?
The big question for Mnangagwa is this: What action have you taken ever since the corruption was exposed?
There are no prizes for guessing why Mnangagwa has remained silent in the face of these damning accusations.
Comparatively, how have the Zimbabwean authorities fared in responding to the Gold Mafia corruption scandal compared other governments?
In South Africa, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority has provisionally withdrawn the operating licence of Salt Asset Management, a company owned by Mohamed “Mo Dollars” Khan, one of the alleged Gold Mafia kingpins exposed by the report.
This has effectively prevented the company from conducting any further business in the financial services sector, including financial services to clients or on behalf of any financial product provider.
It is only in banana republics like Zimbabwe where people get away with murder. In a constitutional democracy, nobody should be above the law. In Britain, a member of the House of Lords, Jonathan Oates, has tabled questions in the second chamber of Parliament demanding decisive action from Whitehall.
Uebert Angel, who holds dual citizenship of Zimbabwe and Britain, was secretly recorded allegedly offering to assist undercover Al Jazeera journalists launder US$1.2 billion in dirty money. The journalists were posing as members of the Chinese mafia.
While Mnangagwa’s Ambassador-at-Large was the main character in Al Jazeera’s blockbuster four-part investigative documentary, the President himself came across as the godfather.
In his written questions, Oates wants the United Kingdom government to explainwhat assessment it has made of allegations of corruption and money laundering contained in the Al Jazeera documentary.
You do not need to be Sherlock Holmes to see that Mnangagwa is silent on this scandal because the glut of evidence is firmly pointing in his direction. He is at the helm of a mafia state.