Zimbabwean MP Chalton Hwende Urges Government to Arrest Uebert Angel Over Diplomatic Privilege Abuse

April 8, 2023
Chalton Hwende | Report Focus News
Chalton Hwende

KUWADZANA East legislator, Chalton Hwende, has demanded the arrest of Uebert Angel, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Ambassador-at-Large to Europe and the Americas, over his alleged abuse of diplomatic privileges. The allegations surfaced in an Al Jazeera documentary, where Angel offered to use his status to launder millions of dollars through a gold-smuggling scheme.

Hwende raised the issue in Zimbabwe’s Parliament, asking about the government’s policy on ambassadors who charge fees for facilitating meetings with the President. “What is government policy with regards to ambassadors who charge fees to people for facilitating meetings with the President when those people are supposed to bring investment to this country?” Hwende asked.

Jacob Mudenda, the Speaker of the National Assembly, suggested that Hwende put forward a written question, but Hwende insisted on mentioning Angel’s name. “He is the ambassador who is charging US$200,000,” he said.

Monica Mutsvangwa, the leader of the House, responded by saying that ambassadors were appointed to represent the country, and that if Hwende had specific evidence, he should put it in writing and direct it to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, Hwende challenged the government to take action. “That it is not government policy? Then arrest those who are doing that,” he said.

The allegations against Angel have sparked outrage in Zimbabwe, with some calling for a full investigation. “This is an embarrassment to our country,” Hwende said. “How can we have an ambassador who is willing to use his position to launder money?”

Angel, who is also a self-proclaimed prophet and head of the Good News Church with branches in 15 countries, claimed in the documentary that he could carry large volumes of dirty cash into the country using his diplomatic status. He also alleged that his laundering operations had the approval of Mnangagwa. “You want gold, gold we can do it right now,” he told Al Jazeera 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.”

The government has not responded publicly to Hwende’s call for Angel’s arrest. However, Mudenda insisted that Mutsvangwa had answered Hwende’s question appropriately. “I think the honourable minister’s response was quite comprehensive,” he said.

Zimbabwean citizens are now waiting to see whether the government will take any action against Angel, and what this could mean for the country’s reputation on the global stage.