Uebert Angel loudest, reckless character in Al Jazeera exposé
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s envoy Uebert Angel has been the most vocal and undiplomatic actor as he implicated the President, his wife Auxillia and niece Henrietta Rushwaya in the Al Jazeera Gold Mafia investigative documentary.
He also implicated Mnangagwa’s gold runner Pedzesayi “Scott” Sakupwanya in the gold smuggling saga. From the first to the last episode, Angel, who is presidential envoy and ambassador-at-Large to Europe and the Americas, has been playing a leading role in revealing the roles of key gold mafia players in Zimbabwe. He also exposed that investors pay facilitation fees ranging from US$200 000 to US$1 million to have access to the president.
Investigations by Al Jazeera show that Zimbabwe has been losing over 50 kilogrammes of gold every week through a well-knit racket involving people close to president Mnangagwa. In this week’s episode, the final in a series by Al Jazeera titled: Having The King With You Angel calls Auxillia to discuss whether the first family would provide a plane for US$1,2 billion to be transported into the country.
The other alternative was for the gangsters, who were in fact Al Jazeera reporters, should use their own plane. The gangsters were posing as people who wanted to clean their money by building a casino in Victoria Falls. Through phone calls, Angel also exposed the role of controversial gold dealer Scott Sakupwanya in the smuggling syndicate.
“He is the biggest gold buyer in Zimbabwe. He used to clean cars for MacMillan (Ewan). MacMillan is the one he used to work for,” said Angel explaining to undercover reporters.
He also says that he has managed to keep his wealth due to connections with president Mnangagwa. Sakupwanya, a Mnangagwa loyalist, is one of the financers to Mnangagwa’s election campaign.
He is also a member of the Zanu PF Resource Mobilisation Committee responsible for fundraising for the party’s 2023 campaign. In the phone call, Sakupwanya is heard saying that he had sold six tonnes of gold in a space of 10 months.
In the first episode, Angel also exposed the role of Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) president Henrietta Rushwaya plays in the gold smuggling syndicate, through a phone call, in which she reveals that they use private jets to pick up gold as part of smuggling and laundering activities. Rushwaya is Mnangagwa’s niece.
“You want gold, we can make the call and it’s done with the president of the miners’ association, right this minute. Let me just call Rushwaya,” says Angel to undercover reporters, while calling.
Angel then tells Rushwaya he has people who want to get gold “like the other deals that we normally do with these people, like the one we did in Dubai. He tells the ZMF boss that the investors are prepared to send a private jet that picks up gold every week.
“Oh perfect. Now that’s okay. It’s doable. What quantity do they do?” asks Rushwaya.
Angel tells Rushwaya the dealers want 100kgs of gold every week.
She immediately offers them a 4% discount on world prices, before detailing how she can assist them to clean their money.
“They bring in US$10 million, for instance. Five million will be put into Fidelity for the duration of their relationship. They get gold worth US$5 million every week, they take it out, bring another US$5 million,” she says.
Rushwaya was arrested in 2021 for attempting to smuggle 6.7kg of gold worth US$366 000 at Robert Mugabe International Airport in 2020. While she managed to wriggle out, phone calls by Angel have nailed her as a notorious gold smuggler, to which she denies.
Angel and his assistant, Rikki Doolan also recklessly exposed how president Mnangagwa is lavished with gifts by corrupt investors. In the third episode, he suggested to the undercover reporters that they could give the head of state a gift of over US$ 1 million as appreciation for his involvement in ensuring that the deal to clean launder US$1.2 billion succeeded.
“There is a big difference in appreciating somebody and bribing. At this level, people don’t bribe . . . There is somebody saying thank you for everything you are doing for us. Big difference because he is just not that kind of a person.
“His election I think they are spending something like US$240 million and that is his money. “It’s not the party, it is his money. So when somebody got that money to spend on election campaign, you give him one million, it’s like a slap in the face, unless you say this is thank you,” Angel he said.