Pan-African Parliament slammed for appointing alleged gold smuggler and money launderer as religious ambassador
The ‘prophet’ Uebert Angel was recently exposed as a key player in a major gold smuggling racket.
The African Union has been condemned for reportedly allowing its Pan-African Parliament to appoint the Zimbabwean “prophet” Uebert Angel, recently exposed as a gold smuggler and money launderer, as its ambassador for interfaith dialogue and humanitarian affairs.
The independent Zimbabwean radio station Nehanda Radio reported that it had been unofficially informed of the appointment.
“Ambassador Angel’s extensive knowledge, influential network, and commitment to fostering unity among diverse religious communities is what saw him emerge as an ideal candidate for this vital role,” Nehanda quoted an anonymous source as saying.
The news organisation Al Jazeera recently exposed Angel as a key player in a major racket in which a group of money launderers and gold smugglers bribed key members of several South African banks, enabling the crooks to secretly send abroad large amounts of illegally obtained money overseas.
Al Jazeera’s investigative unit posed as criminals seeking help in smuggling gold overseas and secretly filmed several conspirators agreeing to help.
Read more in Daily Maverick: Al Jazeera Gold Mafia exposé ‘tip of the iceberg’ for Zim corruption but accountability remains elusive
Angel, a self-proclaimed prophet, was recently appointed by Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa as Zimbabwe’s ambassador-at-large for Europe and the Americas. Al Jazeera’s clandestine footage included Angel agreeing to smuggle $1.2-billion of dirty cash into Zimbabwe using his diplomatic status.
Daily Maverick asked Pan-African Parliament spokesperson Jeffrey Onganga to comment on the allegations. He did not confirm or deny that Angel had been appointed to the position, but only said, “There’s no official statement from the Pan-African Parliament to this effect.”
Veteran Zimbabwean politician and lawyer David Coltart, a former senator and education minister, said: “This is obviously a very serious development. Allegations have been levelled against Prophet Angel which have not been rebutted, which have not been adequately investigated by the Zimbabwe police.
“They have already had a devastating impact on Zimbabwe’s financial system with some of our commercial banks struggling to get correspondent banks internationally because Zimbabwe is now associated with money laundering on a grand scale and the allegations levelled against Angel linked him to very senior people in government and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
“And for the African Union to simply ignore this is a serious indictment against it. And it is also an indictment against them regarding the particular role which is envisaged. Prophet Angel holds himself out to be a Christian leader and yet what he is accused of is anathema to the Christian faith and to everything that Jesus Christ taught and stood for.
‘An indictment against AU’
“And so it’s hard to understand how this man can be chosen for this particular role. There are thousands of Christian leaders throughout Africa, people of great integrity who would be far better suited for this job. So this is an indictment against the African Union.”
Coltart continued: “It’s very important to understand how he got this position. I suspect we will find that it is due to intense lobbying by Zanu-PF to get him into this position, deliberately. Not just to get influence at that body but also to give them cover against the very serious allegations which have been levelled against Angel but also against senior Zanu-PF officials. I’m sure that the thinking is if the African Union endorses this man, then that will whitewash the very serious allegations against senior Zanu-PF leaders.”
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The Speaker of the Pan-African Parliament is Fortune Charumbira, the president of the Zimbabwe Council of Chiefs and a former deputy minister in the Zanu-PF government.
Prominent Zimbabwean investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono announced on Twitter that he would be broadcasting Al Jazeera’s Gold Mafia documentary series “so that Africans can see the shame that the African Union and Pan-African Parliament have brought to this continent by appointing a self-confessed gold smuggler and money launderer as an AU Ambassador.
“With that shameful appointment, Africa has lost any legitimacy to good governance or any pretence to fighting corruption.
“Today I broadcast the Gold Mafia Episode 1, featuring the new Pan-African Parliament’s ambassador, Uebert Angel Mudzanire, who has been implicated in fraud, money laundering, racketeering and gold smuggling,” Chin’ono said.
“This is why life is so difficult for Africans outside Africa — we are all seen as crooks because of the actions of these few corrupt politicians. We must stand for something, we must have basic values and not allow this criminality to be rewarded in our name.” DM