Independent commission must look into gold mafia claims: United Freedom Party

The United Freedom Party (UFP) claims that the Al Jazeera documentary on Zimbabwe’s Gold Mafia demonstrates how the country is headed nowhere under the current government and has called for an independent commission to investigate the smuggling accusations made in the film.


The documentary, according to UFP leader Godwin Zivavose, shows how national resources only benefit a few people, and says the fact that there are undisputed faces in that investigation shows the need to concentrate on the illegal issues presented in the documentary.

“We are again witnessing the extremely shameful illustration of a government that is proving that they are not sensitive to the plight of the general masses. In the midst of all this mayhem created by the Al Jazeera documentary, one thing has again come out, that national resources are only benefitting a few individuals, whereas as United Freedom Party, we do not stand to determine the facts around the issues raised,” he said.

“We are however given a glimpse of how as a nation we are going nowhere under the current regime.”

Zivavose’s comments come as the country has been riveted by Al Jazeera’s documentary on alleged gold smuggling by Zimbabwean government officials and the ruling party, which has infuriated most citizens.

Thursday saw the second instalment of a four-part series.

The UFP leader stated it was unsurprising that the same individuals who had previously been reported as corrupt by local media, with some being cleared on gold allegations smuggling under dubious technicalities, are the same individuals shown in the documentary.

“As they may fail to cleanse this mess or justify, however, the reality on the ground is that the nation is being held at ransom by a small clique that has deemed themselves the heirs to Zimbabwe’s natural resources,” he said.

“As UFP, we believe that the time is now to take a radical and more robust stance on corruption in the country. There is a need for more political will to fight this from the root,  to sincerely strengthen and capacitate our institutions in fighting against corruption.”

According to the UFP leader, the starting point would be to establish an authentic, sincere, and independent commission to examine the issues presented in the documentary.

“There is a need to move and focus towards unlawful issues raised in the documentary. The story line is the same from the Diamonds in Marange, the Platinum, and more recently the lithium. These are all precious resources that can lift the Zimbabwean economy from this dark hole if and only managed well, with people at heart,” he said and dismissed that sanctions had caused the country’s economic struggles.

“The sanctions mantra that has been forcibly fed on our throats over the years, no longer holds water. Our health system is in shambles, hospitals are a sorry sight, there are no basic drugs like paracetamol. Maternity wards have become a mere death sentence to expectant mothers, but when the government is confronted on that, the defence line is sanctions. How selectively crippling are these sanctions that only affect the health sector, the manufacturing industry and yet turns a blind eye on gold trade?”

The UFP leader questioned how it is possible to beat sanctions when it comes to syphoning resources out of the country but suddenly find hands tied when it comes to providing basic social amenities, regardless of the rationale.

“What is sadder is the fact that the ordinary citizens have gone for several weeks without reliable supply of electricity, some places without water in the last three weeks on the trot. Put into context, Bulawayo metropolitan has gone for three solid weeks without running water. It is needless to mention the cholera outbreaks in most parts of the country,” Zivavose said, adding that he will contest in this year’s national elections.

“In ethical terms, one once inferred that a fool is one who does the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. In the election year, it is more prudent for one to vote for change, vote for a better Zimbabwe. As we gear towards elections, we need to reflect on some of these issues and vote for change.”

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