By Cy’rus Bengo {abstract} ZIM NEWS

Government says it has ordered an investigation into shock revelations of gold smuggling and money laundering by name dropping individuals recently exposed in a four-part Al Jazeera documentary.In a surprise climb down from its defiant stance since the documentary premiered two weeks ago, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said Tuesday government took the allegations “seriously”.

The government spokesperson also reprimanded the individuals featured in the cutting edge investigative work by the Qatar based news network.

“Government takes note of a documentary titled ‘Gold Mafia’ currently being serialised by an international broadcasting channel which purports to expose a network of alleged money laundering and gold smuggling in Zimbabwe.

“Government takes the allegation 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,” she said.

In the documentary, United Kingdom based preacher and Zimbabwe ambassador at large Uebert Angel was secretly filmed boasting his links to President Emmerson Mnangagwa while offering to use his diplomatic privileges to ship volumes of dirty cash into the country on behalf of Al Jazeera journalists who posed as criminals.

Other members of the cartel unmasked include security staff at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, immigration officials, gold dealers and businessmen Simon Rudland and Ewan Macmillan.The media feeding frenzy over the documentary was followed by a chilling threat by Presidential spokesperson George Charamba to jail journalists he accused of hyping up what he felt were mere allegations peddled by foreign media.

The revelations in the documentary have also spotlighted on the Zanu-PF led government’s hollow mantra of ‘zero tolerance to corruption’ in a country that has been consistently ranked by Transparency International as among the world’s most corrupt territories.

In signs government was feeling the pressure, Mutsvangwa said authorities would now take action against individuals featured in the documentary.

“Government takes this opportunity to re-affirm its commitment to upholding local and international laws, including laws relating to financial transactions, the trade of gold and other precious minerals.

“Boastful behaviour and name-dropping by some personalities featured in the documentary, seeking personal gain and glory, should never be taken as an enunciation of Government Policy.

“Government remains seized with the matter and the nation will be kept apprised of any new developments,” she said.

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