A British peer yesterday questioned Zimbabwe’s ambassador-at-large, Uebert Angel’s British citizenship asking whether the Whitehall was investigating alleged discrepancies in his application.
Angel was in the spotlight following the airing of four-part documentary by Al Jazeera which looked at what it called the “gold mafia” which was said to be smuggling millions worth of gold from Zimbabwe allegedly with central bank approval.
In the undercover investigation, Angel bragged that he was the number two diplomat in Zimbabwe and could push any deals.
Lord Oates yesterday asked what steps the British government will take, if any, to investigate alleged discrepancies in the application that Uebert Angel, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador at Large, made for British citizenship.
Lord Murray of Blidworth, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department said the Home Office takes allegations of immigration fraud seriously and thoroughly investigates allegations of deception with a view to removing status if appropriate.
He, however, added: “We do not routinely comment on individual cases.”
Lord Oates also asked what the British government had made of whether Angel should retain diplomatic status as Zimbabwe’s Ambassador at Large.
Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park, Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office), responded: “We are aware of an Al Jazeera documentary investigating cases of alleged smuggling and fraud involving Uebert Angel, a dual British-Zimbabwean national and Presidential Envoy and Ambassador At Large for the country of Zimbabwe to Europe and the Americas.”
“Whilst Mr Angel holds a diplomatic passport he is not diplomatically accredited to the UK,” he said
“Countries are free to determine for themselves who they grant these passports to, but the passport itself does not confer any diplomatic status on the holder.
“We cannot comment further on specific cases at this stage.
“The UK sees corruption as an important barrier to economic reform and inclusive growth in Zimbabwe. We engage with the Government of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, civil society and other actors in the fight against corruption in Zimbabwe.”