Harare – Zimbabwe’s government said on Tuesday it will investigate allegations of fraud and corruption raised by a documentary on gold smuggling and money laundering in the country.
“Gold Mafia”, a four-part journalistic investigation by Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera, alleges syndicates with links to government officials use Zimbabwe’s gold exports to wash dirty money.
“Government takes the allegations which are raised in this documentary seriously and has directed relevant organs to institute investigations into the issues raised therein,” Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa told a media briefing.
“Any person found to have engaged in acts of corruption, fraud or any form of crime, will face the full wrath of the law.”
1. Government of Zimbabwe said that it has taken note of the @AJEnglish 4 part documentary series exposing massive corruption involving smuggling of Gold, money laundering and abuse of office by Uebert Angel.
Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said investigations have began. pic.twitter.com/TbsZ0dMO3x
— Hopewell Chin’ono (@daddyhope) April 4, 2023
The landlocked southern African country boasts vast gold reserves.
The precious metal accounted for about a third of all exports in May last year, according to official data.
“Gold Mafia” shows gold dealers licensed by Zimbabwean authorities offering undercover reporters posing as foreign criminals to launder money for them through the sale of Zimbabwe’s gold abroad.
The first two episodes, which caused a stir in the country, aired in March. Two more are scheduled for this month.
The government appeared to distance itself from the well-connected brokers on Tuesday, with Mutsvangwa saying that “boastful behaviour and name-dropping by some personalities featured in the documentary” should not be taken as “an enunciation of government policy”.
Earlier in March, Zimbabwe’s central bank, dismissed what it said were the “false allegations” made by the TV investigation, which it said purveyed “the impression that the Bank is ‘Southern Africa’s laundromat'”.