By Lloyd Takawira
HARARE- In a shocking move, Speaker of the House of Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda has stopped the Public Accounts Committee from investigating the four-part documentary series ‘GOLD MAFIA’ an AL JAZEERA documentary that exposed a cartel of individuals involved in gold smuggling and money laundering by politically connected people.
In a letter, gleaned by ChaminukaNews24.com, Mudenda wrote to the public accounts committee led by Hon B. Dube, (MDC-T) informing them that, legislators cannot investigate the Gold Mafia scandal as the ‘Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and the RBZ have already started processes to investigate the matter
Mudenda said that it would be improper for Parly to commence investigations as agencies of government were already ceased with the matter.
Reference is made to the requests by the above two Committees regarding the Gold Mafia documentary. I wish to state from the outset that the matter is serious and of national importance. However, it is pertinent to note that the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and the RBZ have already started processes to investigate the matter. In that vein, it would be improper for Parliament to embark on an inquiry on a matter that other arms of the State are investigating.-Mudenda
Mudenda further said, should parliament proceed to investigate the AL JAZEERA documentary, it will face hurdles because the matter is ‘complex’
In addition, the matters are of a complex nature and may require extraterritorial visits due to the alleged involvement of foreign players. In that regard, it is prudent to leave the investigations to specialized agencies like ZACC, and the Police are better placed to investigate matters.– Mudenda
The shocking stance by Advocate Mudenda comes barely some days after South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that his government has launched an investigation into several people involved in a gold smuggling and money laundering scheme exposed by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit.
In a speech to the Parliament of South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa said this week the investigation was in the “inquiry stage”.
“We are committed to preserving the integrity of our financial system in the interests of the broader economy and ordinary citizens,” Ramaphosa added on Thursday. “Details of the steps that are being taken cannot be divulged at this stage without compromising the investigation.”-President Cyril Ramaphosa
In a statement, CCC expressed disappointment over the lack of arrests and investigations despite numerous calls to apprehend and prosecute individuals featured in the film.
“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,”– said CCC on Twitter.
Stephen Sarkozy Chuma a member of the CCC party Youth Taskforce said that individuals fingered in the AL JAZEERA Documentary must be arrested
‘Gold smuggling and money laundering criminals fingered in Al Jazeera documentary; Gold Mafia must have their day in court. We as CCC youths, we are very much concerned that more than a month after promising to arrest those fingered in the Gold Mafia documentary, the police are still to arrest any of these criminals.’– Stephen Sarkozy Chuma
The Gold Mafia is a four-part series by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit (I-Unit) into gold smuggling and money laundering in southern Africa.
In it, Al Jazeera revealed how a group of money launderers and gold smugglers had effectively taken over several South African banks by bribing key members, allowing the criminals to send large amounts of illegally obtained money overseas without raising the suspicions of the authorities.