HARARE – First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa and her son Emmerson Junior will feature in Al Jazeera’s corruption investigation, it emerged on Saturday.
Name-dropping Ambassador At Large Uebert Angel made the revelation as he battled to clear his name after the Qatar news network broadcast the first of a four-part investigative series, showing him offering to launder US$1.2 billion to undercover reporters while boasting that he had President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s full blessings.
Through his office as Presidential Envoy and Ambassador At Large, the under-fire United Kingdom based preacher and businessman released a lengthy statement desperately trying to preempt future programmes by claiming Auxillia and Junior featured were in fact decoys, not them.
In the first episode of the documentary, an overly excited Angel is seen ringing and putting on speaker, Henrietta Rushwaya in the presence of the undercover reporters asking the controversial Zimbabwe Miners Federation boss to buttress his claims that smuggling volumes of gold was easy for them.
Angel made the calls in a fervent attempt to convince the reporters he wielded influence and a wide network of key Zimbabwe persons able to help investors ship truckloads of dirty cash in and outside the country.
But in an astounding rebuttal Saturday, Angel claims the voices in the Al Jazeera clips belonged to “decoys” he rang on the advice of state security who had raised questions over the genuineness of the reporters as bona fide investors.
Angel says he also blocked a “strange request” by the disguised investors to meet Mnangagwa saying it was not “standard practice” that every prospective investor should meet the president.
By so-doing, he inadvertently revealed the President’s wife and son would feature in future episodes of the gripping documentary that has seized national attention.
“With this knowledge and at the insistence of the ‘investors’, Ambassador Angel made several calls to decoys working with our office,” he said in a statement released on his behalf by Chief Investment Officer, one Dr Sobona Mtisi.
“It is these decoys who posed as Henrietta Rushwaya, the First Lady and the First Son.
“The calls to the decoys were made in light of the leading questions asked by the ‘investors’.
“They kept pushing to have the First Family in the discussion, especially the First Lady and the President.
“…the best these people got are audios from decoys, they never got the chance to film the President or the First Lady because the Ambassador was already informed by the security agents prior to getting in the meeting that they didn’t get the money they claimed to have.
“There is nowhere Ambassador Angel could get hold of the First Lady or the First Son without pre-arrangements and standard security clearance procedures in place in meeting with the First Lady.
“Moreover, the Ambassador has never met the First Lady. They never met and never had any direct dealings.
“It would have been prudent for these ‘investors’ to verify if the calls were indeed made to the people that the Ambassador claimed to be calling.”
Angel said he called off meetings with the ‘investors’ on the advice of his security team and “nothing to do with the payment of a ‘fee’”.