Gold Mafia exposé spells doom

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

GOOD day President Emmerson Mnangagwa,

Your Excellency, my take on the documentary, Gold Mafia, is that it heralds the inevitability of the sticky end of your Presidency.

As I see it, the exposé underscores the ephemeral nature of power. It is my sincere conviction that it is imperative for you to address the nation, explaining government’s concise responses to the allegations.

Truly, no conscientious President would sit back on the backdrop of incriminations for money laundering.

Yet, former United States President Benjamin Franklin set the precedence of prompt openness and truth; nothing but the truth, back in 1731.

He said in his quest for truth, he rejected the higher profits he could have made had he stooped to the lowest common denominator.

Methinks the metaphor of a burning house used by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya is pertinent.

It portrayed the extensive ruination of the economy by a few, who surround you, who engaged in illicit gold trade at will.

Speaking early last month at a breakfast meeting hosted by the Zimbabwe Economics Society and Germany-based civic organisation, Frederich Ebert Stiftung, Mangudya poured his heart and soul out.

Apprehension over the consequences of the revelations haunted him.

A sensible technocrat, who has come a long way, Mangudya must have been instinctive of the crisis around him.

He had intuition of the presence of a challenge which his decade-long expertise had not sufficiently honed him to resolve.

He wailed: “By the way, money laundering is very serious. When people say to me did I respond too fast, or was I not supposed to wait, waiting for what when the house is burning? You are told that there is money laundering in your country and that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is cleaning these suits called laundering then you sleep comfortable, waiting?”

Your Excellency, Mangudya hastily issued a statement denying that the central bank was involved in money laundering.

Yet, as I see it, his concerns over allegations of the financial impropriety point to a crisis.

He understands the negative returns of graft to the economy.

Amid your silence, there was harping in government and Zanu PF corridors in desperate attempt to discredit Gold Mafia by alleging ulterior motives on the part of Al Jazeera.

A tirade by ambassador-at-large Uebert Mudzanire, better known as Uebert Angel, kick-started outpourings of largely incoherent denials, which were tantamount to self-incriminating utterances. 

His diplomatic responsibilities should have been withdrawn forthwith, so as freezing his bank accounts.

One of the respondents was uncompromisingly militant. He threatened to disable satellite dishes, charging that the documentary must not be aired at all.

Presidential spokesperson George Charamba entered the fray, using his Twitter handle Tinoedza Zvimwe to threaten journalists who reported on the documentary with arrest in contradiction of former United States President Thomas Jefferson’s stance in defence of  freedom of expression, who said: “I prefer newspapers without government to government without newspapers.”

There are some who inadvertently acknowledged the prevalence of money laundering.

Their claims that a country under sanctions has to contrive survival strategies were an admission to money laundering, thereby validating the exposé.

Your Excellency, it was absurd for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister Ziyambi Ziyambi to refer to the documentary as propaganda.

His ministry is mandated to uphold national and international laws, yet he spoke casually about money laundering.

Meanwhile, the government Press briefing held last week, after the second episode had been flighted, was stale and long overdue. It bore hallmarks of a last-minute endeavour to break the deafening official silence.

It was makeshift, markedly falling short of what is expected of a government that claimed that it took the allegations raised in the documentary seriously.

Even the ordinarily candid Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services minister Monica Mutsvangwa appeared pallid.

She said: “Government takes the allegations raised in the documentary seriously and has directed relevant organs to institute investigations into the issues raised therein. Any person found to have engaged in acts of corruption, fraud or any form of crime, will face the full wrath of the law.”

It would have been a demonstration that government takes the allegations seriously had the name-dropping self-styled prophet been recalled from his diplomatic posting.

His conduct was unlike that of a diplomat.

His allegations that there is a US$240 million election war chest to your name was undiplomatic, so was his denigration of the Vice-President as a dunderhead.

Fundamentally, the piecemeal strategy of freezing the assets of a few sacrificial lambs does not suffice.

Granted, the pledge to pursue perpetrators of corruption is a cliché retrieved from your inauguration speech. It is my earnest prayer that people close you, including family members, who were implicated, will not be insulated from investigation.

Your Excellency, morality demands that you reject the lowest common denominator. Truly, your moral obligation to address citizenry as well as resigning, cannot be stayed.

As I see it, Gold Mafia is destined to be the coup de grâce to your Presidency.

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