CITIZENS First president Harry Kalaba yesterday became the first Zambian to be publicly linked to the Gold Mafia by Zimbabwean journalist Simba Chikanza.
In a dramatic finger-pointing scene that unfolded at the Levy Mall in Lusaka and streamed live on a Zimbabwean Facebook page EyeZim, Kalaba had gone to meet Chikanza who had promised he would make him the first mortal to own the yet-to-be released iPhone 15.
However, the meeting took a rather dramatic turn when Chikanza instead of handing Kalaba the phone confronted him about his links to Ubert Angel, accused of part of the so-called gold mafia of Zimbabwe.
The encounter centered around a documentary produced by Chikanza and shown on Aljazeera which exposed what he claimed to be Africa’s gold mafia, implicating Zimbabwe’s top leaders and ambassador preacher Angel.
The exchange began with Chikanza accusing Kalaba of forging a document, alleged to be a video, that supposedly involved Angel and the Zambian government.
The video, according to Chikanza, implicated both countries’ top officials in a $240 million money laundering scheme. Chikanza’s accusations intensified as he questioned Kalaba’s denial of his involvement in the alleged forgery, and whether the Zambian government logo was used to validate the video’s authenticity.
Tempers flared as Chikanza urged Kalaba to acknowledge the gravity of the situation, mentioning the reported dire consequences such as ongoing violence and rape in Zimbabwe as the country is undergoing elections.
Kalaba countered, questioning the ethics behind Chikanza’s work and implying that being associated with Al Jazeera didn’t absolve him of any wrongdoing.
The exchange continued with Chikanza presenting allegations that police officers had delivered a phone to Kalaba, which was supposedly related to the scandal.
Chikanza insisted that Kalaba should apologize to the Zambian government for his alleged involvement in creating the fake video, utilizing the Zambian government logo.
The journalist stressed that such an action violated money laundering laws. Kalaba vehemently resisted the call to apologize, arguing that the issue was more complex and that he refused to take responsibility for the ongoing violence in Zimbabwe.
The confrontation could no longer go on as Kalaba hurriedly walked out on Chikanza before his bodyguard Collins Chishimikwa physically confronted the journalist.
Chikanza highlighted the severity of the allegations, positioning them as a matter of human rights and justice.
Kalaba, on the other hand, refused to apologize and questioned Chikanza’s intentions and credibility as a journalist while he fled from the scene.
The intense verbal clash provided a glimpse into the complexity and controversy surrounding the alleged gold mafia scandal and its potential political ramifications in both Zimbabwe and Zambia.
By Moses Makwaya
Kalemba August 24, 2023