Al Jazeera’s second edition of the four-part documentary series exposing how huge amounts of gold are clandestinely smuggled from Zimbabwe, has revealed a coterie of notorious gold smugglers, allegedly linked to President Mnangagwa, discussing why the president should be involved in the smuggling of gold as he is crucial in smoothening ways for the illicit out-flows of the mineral.
In the latest episode titled ‘Smoke and Mirrors’, Uebert Angel- Presidential envoy and ambassador-at-large to Europe and the Americas is seen telling notorious gold smuggler, Ricky Doolan, and undercover Al Jazeera journalist to fork out US $200, 000 facilitation fee to meet with the president and discuss gold deals.
However, the documentary doesn’t reveal if they managed to secure the appointment with the president.
“…right now the president is completely busy.
“But it can happen because his time is so valuable. You guys are going to have to pay a facilitation fee so that we can facilitate the meeting. It’s the only way that it can work. The facilitation fee will be $200, 000,” Angel is quoted.
The undercover investigative journalist then asked if the facilitation fee was a donation.
Ricky Doolan said: “Yes, it’s a facilitation fee, with the Number One, the president.”
Angel was also recorded saying building a hotel in Zimbabwe would please Mnangagwa and grease the wheels.
“Gold is easy, but there is nowhere to cut a ribbon. They didn’t get it! Let’s talk about gold. Number two, we talk about hotels. Why do I want to talk about hotels? It’s simple.
“A politician wants something. So if you go there and say I’ve got a physical thing. You are going to get more attention the moment you say ‘we want land for a hotel,” he said.
Angel already had a location in mind: “The town of Victoria Falls is maybe 30 meters from the main street. If you think of that and we have the Seventh Wonder of the World in there and we’ve got visitors there. When you get to Victoria Falls, what you might need is land. And that land the day we meet the president, is provided on the spot.”
He also revealed that he struck a deal for the royal family of Sharjah (United Arab Emirates with the help of the president. “They needed 30,000 hectares. And I got it on the spot. The president said ‘let them fly in right now. I already have land for them’,” he said.
Apart from that, the episode titled ‘The Laundry Service’, the first of four episodes, exposed how Angel and Henrietta Rushwaya, the president of the Zimbabwe Mining Federation, who is also Mnangagwa’s niece, played a clandestine middleman role in the illicit out-flows of gold.
Angel is seen making over his diplomatic status to undercover investigative Al Jazeera’s journalist, Mr Stanley, posing as a potential client who could help in smuggling US$1.2 billion into Zimbabwe from Macau and Hong Kong.
Meanwhile speaking in an interview with Al Jazeera after the channel broadcast the second part of its ‘Gold Mafia’ documentary series on Thursday, Emmerson Mnangagwa’s biographer Eddie Cross said Uebert Angel, who was appointed Ambassador at Large by Mnangagwa, had been stripped of the title and could face prosecution.