MP calls for govt probe on ‘Gold Mafia’ revelations
A member of parliament has called on the government to investigate revelations by Qatar-based international television network Al Jazeera of gold smuggling, corruption and money laundering involving a gold mafia linked to government officials and state institutions.
The revelations were made through a four-part investigative documentary, Gold Mafia, whose first episode was aired last week.
The investigation, according to Al Jazeera reveals how billions of dollars’ worth of gold is smuggled every month from Zimbabwe to Dubai, allowing criminals to whitewash dirty money through a web of shell companies, fake invoices and paid-off officials.
Harare North MP Allan Markham said the government needs to set an investigation into the allegations emanating from the documentary, especially those levelled against Fidelity Printers and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
Markham called on the ministries of finance, home affairs and finance to act on the matter.
“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 is exactly happening on what has been exposed,” he said.
“My concern is that we have been definitely silent on the issues of the corruption that has 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.”
Markham also raised concern on how some local pastors are abusing their religious privilege to run their money-making businesses.
“My second issue is on pastors. When you are under the so-called pastors and if you are under a licence and you do operate as a pastor, you are not treated as a business, you are treated as you are serving the people. These are now big businesses and in the case of what we were shown in big money-laundering businesses, this needs to be investigated as urgently as possible.”
“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.”
Markham said the ministries involved, if they had any integrity in them, should have acted on the revelations.
“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.