Prominent Zimbabwean religious leader Uebert Angel, who serves as an ambassador-at-large and presidential envoy appointed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in March 2021, has been implicated in a gold-smuggling scheme during an undercover operation by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit. Angel, a self-proclaimed prophet and leader of the Good News Church with branches in 15 countries, is accused of offering to use his diplomatic status to launder millions of dollars.
The investigation, called ‘Gold Mafia,’ examined gold-smuggling networks in Southern Africa, primarily in Zimbabwe and South Africa. These criminal organizations reportedly take advantage of Western sanctions against Zimbabwe’s government to smuggle gold and launder money through a complex system of companies and bribes. Posing as Chinese nationals seeking to launder money, Al Jazeera reporters were presented with various methods to clean their cash, including leveraging Angel’s diplomatic influence.
As a Christian leader, Uebert Angel’s alleged involvement in such activities raises concerns about the ethical conduct of religious figures. Zimbabwe’s need for dollars due to its currency’s devaluation makes it a prime target for money launderers who can earn dollars in exchange for gold.
Zimbabwean religious communities have been rocked by the recent allegations of gold-smuggling against prominent spiritual leader Uebert Angel. The scandal has caused a stir among the faithful, with many questioning the credibility of the man they had long looked to for spiritual guidance.
At the same time, there have been some who have defended Angel, claiming that the allegations are false and that he is being unfairly targeted. These supporters have argued that Angel is a man of integrity and that the allegations are simply an attempt to discredit him.