Media uncovers how Zimbabwe’s Angel uses Spirit Embassy church to launder gold with president’s wife
Since March, a documentary by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit (I-Unit) has shed light on the illicit gold trade in Southern Africa and money laundering involving powerful figures in the region including Auxilia Mnangagwa, the wife of the Zimbabwean president.
The footage exposed how several individuals have taken advantage of Western sanctions targeting government and ruling party officials to smuggle large quantities of gold and launder millions of dollars through a complex web of companies and bribes.
In the four-episode documentary, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador At Large Uebert Angel offered to use his diplomatic status to launder millions of dollars through a gold smuggling scheme, for undercover reporters posing as Asian criminals.
“You want gold, gold we can do it right now, we can make the call right now, and it’s done,” Angel told Al Jazeera’s reporters.
“It will land in Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe can’t touch it too until I get to my house. So, there can be a diplomatic plan … it is a very, very easy thing,” he said.
He also claimed that his laundering operations had the approval of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who has been in power since November 2017. But exactly who is Angel, the controversial character at the centre of the documentary?
Uebert Angel, whose real name is Uebert Mudzanire, is a self-styled Zimbabwean “prophet”, preacher and entrepreneur based in the United Kingdom.
The 44-year-old is the founder of Spirit Embassy, a church with branches in several countries including the United Kingdom, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Born on September 6, 1978, in Zimbabwe, Angel grew up in a religious family and was raised as a Christian. He has previously claimed he was “summoned as a child under the wild custard tree” by God and was “bathed in liquid love and shown the Halo,” according to the church’s website.
- An Al Jazeera report