Zimbabwean politician and former ZANU PF Politburo member, Jonathan Moyo, has criticized the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) for wrongly labeling four individuals as “Gold Mafia suspects”. In a tweet, Moyo stated that Cleopas Chidodo, David Chirozvi, Mehluli Dube, and Fredrik Kunaka are merely “Gold Mafia Enablers” or “Gold Mafia Pikininis” and are important key “Gold Mafia Witnesses” rather than actual members of the “Gold Mafia”.
The FIU had frozen the assets of these four individuals, alleging their involvement in gold smuggling, money laundering, bribery, and other corrupt activities. However, Moyo argued that going after these individuals would be unwise since their handlers, such as Uebert Angel, Henrietta Rushwaya, Ewan Macmillan, and Kamlesh Pattni, who were featured in the Al Jazeera documentary, have done more self-incrimination and should be the primary targets.
Moyo further highlighted the fact that Dube and Kunaka, whose assets have been frozen, do not even feature in the documentary. Chidodo, who is the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe Head of Security, appeared in Episode 2 of the documentary, explaining how he assists gold smugglers in avoiding detection at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport. Chirozvi is the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Aurex Jewellery Head of Finance. Kunaka is the General Manager of Fidelity Printers and Refiners, while Dube is associated with Golden Beryl Private Limited and was allegedly being paid US$3,000 per month by the gold smuggling syndicate.
On the other hand, the documentary featured the likes of Uebert Angel, who was appointed a special envoy and ambassador-at-large to Europe and the Americas by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in 2021. Angel offered to use his diplomatic cover to carry millions of dirty cash into Zimbabwe as part of a laundering operation also involving gold smuggling. Rushwaya is the person whom Angel and his personal assistant Rikki Doolan get in touch with when they want to discuss buying gold for their laundering scam. Macmillan, also known as Mr. Gold, was first jailed for gold smuggling in the early 1990s when he was just 21 years old.
Moyo argued that the documentary showed that these individuals had done more self-incrimination and should be the primary targets rather than the “Gold Mafia Pikininis” whose assets have been frozen. Moyo concluded by saying, “There is no reason for not freezing the assets of the Ambassador’s Billion Group, given what he says about it in the documentary!”
The controversy surrounding the “Gold Mafia” in Zimbabwe continues to attract attention, with calls for the authorities to take appropriate action against those involved in the illegal activities.