Zimbabwe’s ambassador at large Uebert Angel has dismissed the documentary aired by Qatar based television network Al Jazeera saying it was an intelligence operation sting after discovering that the ‘investors’ were playing him.
The four-part documentary titled “Gold Mafia” features Angel talking to potential investors who wanted to launder billions of dollars from China through illegal gold trading.
Addressing journalists in Harare, Angel’s lawyer, Professor Lovemore Madhuku said his client attempted to facilitate a meeting between the individuals and the President. He however says, national intelligence authorities raised concerns about the individuals, suspecting that they intended harm to the President and the country.
“My client has an office as an ambassador at large and has a team of people who are his assistants. These people approached my client through his assistants wanting to see the President of Zimbabwe for investment discussions. When my client was approached by one of his subordinates, he made checks to find out how much he knew these people.
“He was advised by one of his persons that he been in touch with them for a period in excess of two years. On that basis my client thought he could facilitate an interaction between those persons and the President. The rule of things they were going to check are what are called security checks and the security checks were to be undertaken through the national security framework of our country.
“The intelligence informed my client that they had serious doubts about these persons, they had serious suspicions about these persons and that it was not advisable for them to meet the President. In fact, the national intelligence discovered that those persons intended something very dangerous not just to the country but their aim was the President,” said Prof. Madhuku
As a result, Prof. Madhuku said Angel was asked to play along with the individuals’ plans in a classified national intelligence assignment as a way of gathering intelligence on the individuals and their agenda.
“The position which was discussed, this interaction led to what we are calling a classified national intelligence assignment which meant that a decision was taken with the intelligence authority that my client would play along and would not cancel his interactions with these persons and he would meet them as if he was going to make arrangements for them to meet the President and for them to do investments in Zimbabwe.
“It was in the context of National intelligence operations, Zimbabwe wanted to gain intelligence out of it, wanted to see how far its enemies could go and what their agendas were that is the context. Ordinarily, these things are not told to the world but because of the intensity and implications of the Al Jazeera documentary on the integrity of the operations of the Governmental operations my client felt obliged that he has a moral obligation at least to give an indication of what was going on. In terms of playing along my client says even as were playing along there was also somewhat a possibility that these people were not what the intelligence thought they were,” said Madhuku