Al Jazeera documentary rattles Zanu PF as party official threatens satellite dishes removal


…In an effort to bar Zimbos from watching foreign TV channels

ZANU PF Director of Information, Tafadzwa Mugwadi has threatened to disconnect satellite dishes at all households of supposedly “unpatriotic” Zimbabweans watching foreign news stations.

Mugwadi’s bizarre salvo followed the release of a trailer by Al Jazeera of a four-part investigation into corruption and money laundering in Zimbabwe.

He said patriotic Zimbabweans must not watch and listen to foreign broadcast channels peddling unpalatable content bent on exposing grand corruption, particularly surrounding looting of minerals by ruling Zanu PF elites.

“Focused and patriotic Zimbabweans must not watch news channels like Al Jazeera, SABC, CNN, BBC, France 24, Sky News, Fox News, ABC News, Euro News, NBC News, Al Arabiya,” said Mugwadi.

“The Government of Zimbabwe must start removing satellite dishes from people’s houses who are not patriotic to Zimbabwe. The government and ZBC have the right to remove all satellite dish (dishes) across Zimbabwe.”

The first episode of Gold Mafia, a two-year investigation by the Qatar based international news network, had been advertised for 12PM CAT last Thursday. Other episodes were to follow on March 9, 16 and 23.

However, the television station stopped the scheduled flighting of the expóse without giving reasons.

In a brief statement, Al Jazeera said: “The report we were planning to release will no longer be released this morning (March 2). Bear with us while a new release time is arranged.”

A statement released ahead of the planned first broadcast said the investigation was carried out by undercover journalists from Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit, who infiltrated rival gangs that control Africa’s gold.

“Criminal networks turn dirty cash into gold, which is sold around the world. The investigation leads to the highest offices of state in southern Africa,” Al Jazeera teased.

Gold Mafia looks at how society’s obsession with gold through the ages underwrites a global shadow economy. It exposes the complicity of global financial institutions, regulators and governments in the criminality.

Undercover reporters posed as criminals with over a billion dollars of black money that needed to be cleaned.

The team is led by a fictitious Mr Stanley, a Chinese gangster with links to the Triads. His undercover reporters befriend members of rival gold mafia gangs.

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