By- The Parliament of Zimbabwe has blocked any debate on the Gold Mafia documentary, recently premiered by Al Jazeera.
This follows a proposal by the Public Accounts and the Budget, Finance, and Economic Development committees to investigate allegations.
In a memorandum addressed to the two parliamentary committees, Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda said Parliament should allow the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), the central bank and the Police to conduct the investigations.
He said in reaching the decision, he was guided by the South African Government’s decision to task specialised agencies with investigating the gold smuggling and money laundering allegations raised in the Gold Mafia documentary. Reads the memo:
I wish to state from the outset that the matter is serious and of national importance.
However, it is pertinent to note that the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and the RBZ have already started processes to investigate the matter.
In that vein, it would be improper for Parliament to embark on an inquiry on a matter that other arms of the State are investigating.
In addition, the matters are of a complex nature and may require extraterritorial visits due to the alleged involvement of foreign players.
In that regard, it is prudent to leave the investigations to specialised agencies like ZACC, and the Police are better placed to investigate matters.
Parliament will continue to monitor the investigations and will carry out its oversight role when the specialised agencies have completed their investigation.
In addition, the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development conducted an inquiry into Illicit Financial flows in the Mining Sector in the course of last year.
In reaching this decision I have also been guided by the stance taken by the South African Government which has deferred to specialised agencies regarding the same issues.
“Gold Mafia” is a four-part investigation by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit (I-Unit) which exposed gold smuggling gangs in Southern Africa.
The gangs help criminals launder hundreds of millions of dollars, getting rich themselves while plundering their nations.
They use gold to turn dirty cash into clean, seemingly legitimate money for those with large amounts of unaccounted wealth.
The gangs do so by using a complex web of companies, counterfeit identities and fake documents.