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Gold Mafia Al Jazeera documentary timeline

The Al Jazeera Investigative Unit recently released a four-part documentary called “Gold Mafia” exposing gold smuggling and money laundering gangs in southern Africa.

The documentary revealed how the gang members get rich while plundering their nations and keeping millions in abject poverty.

The four episodes are:

Episode 1 – The Laundry Service
Episode 2 – Smoke & Mirrors
Episode 3 – El Dorado
Episode 4 – Have The King With You

Here is a timeline of the “Gold Mafia” documentary
On 27 February 2023, award-winning journalist and filmmaker Hopewell Chin’ono posted on Twitter that Al Jazeera was going to expose corrupt Zimbabwean politicians and their associates in a documentary

Chin’ono said that the producers had shown the films to a select group of corruption experts and journalists to give their comments before the documentary is broadcasted.

He also said the documentary would expose “astonishing looting, plunder and laundering in Zimbabwe”.

Nick Mangwana makes startling remarks

On 01 March 2023, the Permanent Secretary of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Ndavaningi Mangwana admitted that there is rampant corruption, smuggling of minerals, and money laundering in the country. He said:

Facts:-Is there corruption in Zimbabwe? Yes. -Is there smuggling of minerals and forex out of the country? Yes -Is there money laundering in Zimbabwe? Yes (including by NGOs) -Is the Government fully committed to getting rid of all the above ills? That’s a fact.


The four-part documentary was scheduled to start on Thursday, 02 March 2023 at 12 PM Central African Time but was postponed to allow the broadcaster to sort out a technical issue.

No Sanctions – Mangudya

On 06 March 2023, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor, John Mangudya, dismissed as false and malicious reports carried in a trailer of “Gold Mafia” which had not been screened.

The reports suggested that the central bank was engaged in illicit gold dealings, corruption, and money laundering.

Mangudya also said there are no sanctions on Zimbabwean imports and exports, including on gold.

He, however, later clarified his remarks saying Zimbabwe remained under economic sanctions that have hampered the movement of funds and trade.

Episode 1 – The Laundry Service

The first episode of “Gold Mafia” finally premiered on 23 March 2023. Among the highlights, Zimbabwe’s ambassador at large Spirit Embassy founder, Hubert Mudzanire alias Uebert Angel said President Emmerson Mnangagwa will be in power until he dies. He said:

Let me just say don’t worry about the President. Don’t worry about him. This president will be president until he dies.

Angel also claimed that Mnangagwa gave him absolute power to make treaties with other countries without even getting the president involved.

ZACC Comments On Gold Mafia

On 24 March, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) said that it was closely following the Al Jazeera documentary into alleged gold smuggling and money laundering in the country.

The Chief Investment Officer at the Office of Presidential Envoy and Ambassador at Large (OPEAAL) Sobona Mtisi issued a statement in response to the documentary denying the allegations raised by Al Jazeera. OPEAAL later disowned the statement.

George Charamba’s Threats

On 29 March, presidential spokesperson George Charamba warned that journalists who were “reckless enough to repeat what [the Al Jazeera] documentary defamatorily says” will be sorry.

Episode 2 – Smoke & Mirrors

The second episode of “Gold Mafia” premiered on 30 March 2023. Among other people, it featured a British Christian preacher, Rikki Doolan, who was portrayed as a money launderer, saying all money laundering deals are done with the president’s blessing.

Enter CCC

On 31 March, the opposition Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) demanded an international forensic investigation of individuals implicated in alleged money laundering activities and illicit gold dealings in Zimbabwe.

In a statement signed by party spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere, CCC said there should be a full, independent, international investigation in respect of all those who are implicated and mentioned.

Govt Responds To “Gold Mafia”

On 03 March, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa, said the government will punish individuals mentioned in Gold Mafia if they are convicted of gold smuggling and money laundering as stated in the documentary. She said members of the public will be informed of new developments in due course.

RBZ Freezes Accounts of the “Gold Mafia”

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) said it had frozen the assets of four officials who were caught on camera confessing that they are involved in gold smuggling, money laundering, bribery and other corrupt activities. The four were identified as Cleopas Chidodo, David Chirozvi, Mehlululi Dube and Fredrick Kunaka.

Episode 3 – El Dorado

On Thursday, 06 April 2023, Al Jazeera Investigations premiered Episode 3 of the Gold Mafia documentary.

In this episode, Kamlesh Pattni is seen talking with Al Jazeera journalist “Mr. Stanley” who posed as a Chinese gangster who wanted his US$100 million dirty cash cleaned.

Tinopona Katsande

Tinopona Katsande, a Zimbabwean broadcaster and actress, called on the gold mafia, land barons, and drug dealers to purchase cancer machines, saying many Zimbabweans were dying from cancer.

In a Facebook post, Katsande who is battling cancer said about six people had died in the past two weeks because they could not afford the privately owned cancer machines.

Uebert Angel’s Account Frozen

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) said it had frozen Uebert Angel‘s accounts over alleged gold smuggling, money laundering, bribery, and other corrupt activities. Through the Financial Intelligence Unit, RBZ also froze the accounts of Ewan McMillan, Kamlesh Pattni and Simon Rudland stating that it was taking a strong stance against money laundering and was tracking activities that could expose further money laundering by the alleged Gold Mafia.

ZAPU Calls For Protests

According to a flyer circulated on social media, ZAPU called for protests at Uebert Angel’s church in Johannesburg, South Africa to voice displeasure at the government’s “apparent refusal to act on the scandal.”

Simon Rudland Responds to Gold Mafia Allegations

Simon Rudland, the co-owner of Gold Leaf Tobacco Zimbabwe, dismissed the Al Jazeera documentary “Gold Mafia” as sensationalized and extreme. He argued that the documentary only presents selective snippets of wild and broad claims without proper context or evidence to support them.

Madhuku Comes To Uebert Angel’s Defence

Madhuku said that he would hold a press conference on 13 April in response to the Al Jazeera documentary. The press conference was supposed to be held the same day Al Jazeera released the final episode of the four-series documentary. It was, however, postponed after Al Jazeera delayed premiering the final episode.

Episode 4 – Have The King With You

The final episode of the Gold Mafia documentary titled “Have The King With You” was released on 14 April 2023.

Angel Claims He Was Acting

On 14 April 2023, Angel’s lawyer Lovemore Madhuku said his client’s words and actions filmed by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit (I-Unit), were staged and a classified national intelligence operation. – (Pindula)

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