Al Jazeera journalists who worked on the Gold Mafia scandal say they are no two ways that President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa was the power behind the rival mafia gangs looting Zimbabwe’s gold.
The investigative journalists adds that Mnangagwa was receiving payment from the criminals.
They made these sentiments during an Unvestigative Journalism Conference at Wits University in Johannesburg which drew participants from across the continent.
Some of the key highlights of the conference is the work done by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit on the Gold Mafia scandal.
Journalists Sarah Yeo and Alexander James are taking African journalists through the four-and-half-year investigation, which exposed how rival gangs all connected to President Emmeson Mnangagwa were looting Zimbabwe’s gold while also using the precious mineral for money laundering.
The Gold Mafia smugglers were said to have deals with Fidelity Printers and used to deliver a quota of gold bought from small-scale miners to the refinery.
They then export it to Dubai and provide hard currency for the Zimbabwean government.
But like Pattni and Angel, this mechanism allows smugglers like Macmillan to also launder millions of dollars.
The Gold Mafia documentary was a four-part series by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit (I-Unit) based on dozens of undercover operations spanning three continents, and thousands of documents, also shows how government officials and businesspeople are profiting off the illegal movement of gold across borders.