Corruption Watchdog, Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) has urged government to annul gold trade and export licenses for individuals and organizations implicated in the Gold Mafia Documentary released by Aljazeera last week.
Aljazeera Investigative unit released the first episode of the four-part documentary series that exposed corruption and smuggling of gold on the African continent.
The documentary has brought attention to the illegal activities in the gold sector in Zimbabwe and further educating people on the darker side of the gold industry.
In statement released on Tuesday, TIZ has bemoaned the incremental damage the latest revelations have on the image of the country to potential investors.
“The documentary comes after the release of the 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index which revealed ongoing endemic corruption in Zimbabwe, with a score of just 23 out of 100.
“New scandals of grand corruption and abuses of public office continue to emerge, which damages the country in the perspective of investors and development partners.
“Along with the shocking findings of the documentary, these results make clear that it’s time for the government to take stronger action against corruption and money laundering.
“Law enforcement, anti-corruption agencies and regulatory authorities should immediately revoke gold trade and export licenses given to the implicated individuals and corporations, pending an investigation into the allegations,” read the statement.
TIZ bemoan lack of due diligence.
Furthermore, TIZ is troubled by the inadequate back-ground check of potential investors and authorized gold traders.
However, the corruption watchdog insists the latest revelations by the documentary can be useful in dealing with individuals and institutions involved in underhand dealings in the mining sector.
“The revelations are a possible source of information to bust criminal networks that are actively engaging in gold smuggling and laundering money from Zimbabwe and other selected African countries,” said TIZ.
In 2020, International Crisis Group estimated that Zimbabwe was losing at least $1.5 billion a year through the smuggling of gold, mainly to traders in Dubai.
The recent revelations indicate the figure could be more than initially estimated.