MPs demand answers on Gold Mafia
HARARE North MP Allan Markham (pictured) has asked the government to respond to money laundering allegations raised in an Al Jazeera documentary on shady gold dealings.
He called for an independent investigation into the operations of Fidelity Printers and Refiners, a subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
Markham was speaking during the National Assembly’s Tuesday sitting where he requested that the relevant minister present a statement on the serious allegations raised by the documentary.
In her media briefing after the Cabinet session on Tuesday, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa steered clear of the gold scandal.
The governmnet has not commented on the allegations raised, save for threats to the media issued by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba through his Twitter handle @Tinoedzazvimwe1.
“This week the nation was treated to some media on the gold mafia. I am shocked at the silence that the government has treated this report. My concern is there are four reports that are coming out. Could we ask the minister responsible, whether it is Finance, Home Affairs or Justice, I am not sure, but could the relevant ministry give us an answer to what exactly is happening on what has been exposed,” he said.
The only responses that the people of Zimbabwe got from government officials were threats of imprisonment against journalists pushing stories on the documentary from presidential spokesperson, George Charamba who operates on Twitter under the pseudonym name Tinoedza Zvimwe1.
Markham recommended an inquiry into the dealings of the central bank and Fidelity Printers.
“My concern is that we have been definitely silent on the issues of the corruption that have been purportedly shown on the media. For example, I would immediately recommend to the minister to call, as has been called by the public, for an audit or an independent investigation into Fidelity Printers and the RBZ. It is absolutely shocking that we have said and done nothing about it,” said Markham.
The documentary shows cleric and Presidential Envoy and Ambassador-at-Large for Zimbabwe to Europe and the Americas, Eubert Angel, bragging about his proximity to President Mnangagwa and his diplomatic passport, which he can use to launder money into the country.
In the video, Angel alleges that he can walk through the airport with over US$1 billion and will not be subjected to any search. He even says he can smuggle a human being, to emphasise how easily he can launder.
Markham added that there should be an introspection into the works of such clerics as they have defiled the Church.
“My second issue and it also embraces anyone in this country who claims to have a religion behind him with all this adultery happening in the name of pastors and the church. I believe that it is high time for this House to look at all the licences and the so-called duty-free statuses and tax-free statuses of all these so-called pastors because it is actually a business. They are not serving the people, they are serving themselves and the investments are in their own names, not in the name of the people and yet our government remains silent,” he added.
He said it is shocking that implicated officials have neither resigned nor been sacked.
“Those ministries involved, if they had any integrity in them, there should have been some resignation or at least an answer. The fact that they did not resign means that they must be dismissed. The fact that they have not been dismissed means they are involved or incompetent or both,” he said.
The deputy speaker of the National Assembly, Tsitsi Gezi, assured Markham that the relevant minister will be asked to come to Parliament with answers to his questions.
“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.