Zimbabwe opposition legislator baffled by government silence on the  Al Jazeera “Gold Mafia”


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Zimbabwe opposition legislator Allan Markham said he was shocked at the government silence on the alleged gold mafia exposed by Qatar-based news channel Al Jazeera last week.

Al Jazeera is planning to air a four-part television documentary series on gold smuggling and money laundering in Zimbabwe using Dubai.

The government has so far not commented on the first part of the documentary which aired last Thursday.

“I am shocked at the silence that the government has treated this report. My concern is there are four reports that are coming out. Could we ask the Minister responsible, whether it is Finance, Home Affairs or Justice, I am not sure but could the relevant Ministry give us an answer to what is exactly happening on what has been exposed,” Markham said in Parliament in Tuesday. 

“My concern is that we have been definitely silent on the issues of the corruption that has been purportedly shown on the media. For example, I would immediately recommend to the Minister to call, as has been called by the public, for an audit or an independent investigation into Fidelity Printers and the RBZ. It is absolutely shocking that we have said and done nothing about it.”

Deputy Speaker Tsitsi Gezi said she would bring the matter to the relevant minister.

Full contribution:

HON. MARKHAM: This week the nation was treated to some media on the gold mafia. I am shocked at the silence that the Government has treated this report. My concern is there are four reports that are coming out. Could we ask the Minister responsible, whether it is Finance, Home Affairs or Justice, I am not sure but could the relevant Ministry give us an answer to what is exactly happening on what has been exposed. My concern is that we have been definitely silent on the issues of the corruption that has been purportedly shown on the media. For example, I would immediately recommend to the Minister to call, as has been called by the public, for an audit or an independent investigation into Fidelity Printers and the RBZ. It is absolutely shocking that we have said and done nothing about it.

My second issue and it also embraces anyone in this country who claims to have a religion behind him with all this adultery happening in the name of pastors and the church. I believe that it is high time for this House to look at all the licences and the so-called duty-free statuses and tax-free statuses of all these so-called pastors because it is actually a business. They are not serving the people, they are serving themselves and the investments are in their own names, not in the name of the people and yet our Government remains silent. Those Ministries involved, if they had any integrity in them, there should have been some resignation or at least an answer. The fact that they did not resign means that they must be dismissed. The fact that they have not been dismissed means they are involved or incompetent or both. I thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Markham, please may you come again on the issue of pastors. I did not get what you said.

HON. MARKHAM: My issue on pastors is that when you are under the so-called pastors and if you are under a licence and you do operate as a pastor, you are not treated as a business, you are treated as you are serving the people. These are now big businesses and in the case of what we were shown in big money-laundering businesses, this needs to be investigated as urgently as possible. I thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Regarding the reports on Aljazeera, the Parliament Administration will convey the message to the responsible Minister to come to the House and give you the answer.  On the issue regarding pastors, I think it is prudent for you Hon. Markham to come up with a motion so that the issues can be debated in this House

 

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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