By Sunday Oyinloye
Following Al-Jazeera investigative Unit’s commencement of the release of four-part series that exposes serious allegations of money laundering, gold smuggling , illicit financial flows , underhand gold trading , abuse of diplomatic privileges and other corrupt activities by political elites and those closely connected to them, the opposition in Zimbabwe, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has called for international forensic investigation.
The party in a signed statement by its National Spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere , a copy of which was made available to Green Savannah Diplomatic Cable says it is deeply concerned about severe disregard of formal state institutions by the persons named and referred to in the documentary .
According to CCC “There is a strong suggestion that political elites are deliberately setting up national networks of business persons-cum criminals that operate to undermine constitutional accountability.
“It is a matter of regret that state institutions that are constitutionally mandated to investigate and bring to book those reasonably suspected of corruption, maladministration and criminal abuse of office including the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission neglect to investigate the issues and act as would be expected.”
The opposition party says the documentary raises a serious concern for the citizens “that there is a link between the illicit gold trade and political finance intended to capture state institutions in the forth coming elections which poses potential threat to the constitutional imperatives and safeguards set out in the constitution.”
CCC states further “The Al Jazeera unearths unconscionable if not criminal amount of gold allegedly smuggled and massive potential revenue loss to the state. This is more so in the light of the breakdown of the basic social services including the public health delivery system, the state education system, road infrastructure, electricity supply as well as mounting poverty and hunger among the populace”
The party disclosed that the scandal is an added risk to Zimbabwe’s standing in the global economy given the unanswered claims of chronic money laundering and abuse of the Central Bank system.
On what Zimbabweans should expect if the party wins the forthcoming elections, CCC says it will put the citizens first and take the fight against money laundering and corruption seriously.
“In the new great Zimbabwe, public funds will service citizens’ needs and not line the pockets of a few. The Central Bank will be independent and not open to abuse by political elites for the benefit of a few. Citizens will be at the center of all government policy.
We will strengthen institutions that are responsible for detecting financial crimes. The Financial Intelligence Unit will be reformed and will go after criminals and not political opponents. ZACC will have the independence and the teeth to go after the corrupt whoever they are “said CCC.
It would be recalled that Al Jazeera’s investigative unit produced 4-part series documentary which revealed gold smuggling by individuals affiliated with Zimbabwean government officials and the ruling party.
One of those exposed in the documentary is Uebert Angel, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador At Large to Europe and Americas, who was appointed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.