The followers of Prophet Uebert Angel in Uganda are up in arms saying the man of God is innocent and that he was blackmailed by his rivals.
Angel who is the owner of Spirit Embassy Church also doubles as the presidential Envoy and Ambassador at Large for Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangwagwa.
Al –Jazeera recently released a documentary which alleged that Uebert Angel is involved in money laundering and gold smuggling and is part of the “gold mafia”.
“We know well this man, he is being blackmailed for doing a good job for Zimbabwe. He has been promoting investments,” George Omondi, a follower of the renown prophet said
Grace Birungi another follower said “Rivals of Munangwaga are trying to use the falsehoods to tarnish his name, but we know the man of God will get over all this.”
Prophet Angel has millions of followers in Uganda led by Pastor Patrick Kimera of Healing resuurection church.
According to Ronnie, there is also a possibility of a huge demo in Uganda if the harassment of the Angel doesn’t stop.
“Ugandans believe in the miracles of Prophet Angel. We are going to have a huge demonstration here in full support of the man of God. We are just working out the modalities,” Ronnie said.
A statement released by the Chief Investment Officer at OPEAAL Sobona Mtisi in response to the documentary reads:
RESPONSE TO ALJAZEERA DOCUMENTARY
1. Following the release of the Aljazeera documentary titled The Gold Mafia, there has been a lot of misinformation, speculation, and deliberate efforts to scandalise the Presidential Envoy and Ambassador at Large, H.E Ambassador Uebert Angel. This statement serves to clarify some of the issues raised. These “investors” called the OPEAAL office, were referred to me, and I met with them. I was present at all the meetings, I know what happened and speak in my own capacity.
2. To start with, this was not a secret investigation as portrayed to the public. For the record, our meetings with them were never secret as is now being portrayed to the public. We met in public places and never in hidden places. I am not at liberty to give reasons because of the legal ramifications if the Office of the Ambassador at Large decides to pursue the legal route.
3. Ambassador Angel was appointed by His Excellency President Dr Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa mainly to facilitate investments into Zimbabwe. The Ambassador At-Large’s Office receives inquiries from prospective investors and facilitates the formalisation of their investments. As the Chief Investment Officer, I engage with potential investors with the view to guide them on the policy and procedures in the sectors of their interest. I also help them to navigate government bureaucracy and facilitate meetings with relevant officials from the public and private sectors. The Ambassador is never the final port of call for any investor. Our office is one of the key starting points for any investor. The decision to invest or not invest is solely at the discretion of the investor. Importantly, all investments have to be registered via the relevant Government agencies.
4. The criminals in the Al Jazeera documentary approached Ambassador Angel fully aware of his position and integrity. They posed as investors from a company called Philips Long, Hong Kong, which represented high-net-worth individuals who were keen to invest outside of Hong Kong. The reason they gave for wanting to move their capital out of Hong Kong was their perceived political risk in Hong Kong. To mitigate their perceived medium to long-term political risk to their capital, they were considering investing in Zimbabwe. We welcomed the opportunity to bring that capital into Zimbabwe. This was the basis for the meetings that we had with “Lee Sin Tong, Investment Adviser for Philips Long “and “Mr Lee, the Fund Manager for Philips Long”, with the view to bring their planned investment to Zimbabwe. They presented a proposal for a casino and gold trading hub at Victoria Falls with the view to registering on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange. As patriotic Zimbabweans, we thought their planned investment will enhance Victoria Falls as a prime destination for tourism and create much-needed employment. This was our view. They never presented themselves as criminals needing help to launder money or do something illegal.
5. Our preliminary meetings with investors are aimed at understanding broadly the sector(s) that they want to invest in, their capacity to invest, and previous investing experience. In short, it’s a light touch verification process to enable our office to facilitate meetings with relevant government agencies or private sector players. Part of my meetings with investors is to assess whether a meeting with the Ambassador is warranted. It is at the Ambassador’s discretion to arrange a meeting with the investors and His Excellency, the President, as a way of keeping His Excellency informed of new investments coming into the country in line with OPEAAL’s mandate and Vision 2030.
This is the context within which the meetings were held with the “potential investors”, whom we now know as Al Jazeera journalists. The documentary apparently edits out this context for the obvious reason of wanting to misrepresent facts with the intention of wanting to tarnish the Ambassador’s image and portray Zimbabwe in a negative image. I leave the fact that this documentary is aired prior to our elections to people more qualified than me.
6. In our meetings with these “investors” the discussion shifted to requests of meeting with His Excellency, the President. Ambassador Angel questioned the request. The Ambassador further told them that his word is as good as the President’s word, and it is not necessary to meet the President immediately. He then consulted with the security experts at the organisation’s disposal with regard to the strange request for a meeting with the His Excellency, the President. Ambassador immediately blocked the “investor’s” requests for a meeting with His Excellency, the President. Ambassador’s view was that it’s never standard practice, anywhere in the world, that each and every investor who wants to invest in any country meets the President of that country.
7. Given this strange request, Ambassador Angel suspected something was amiss.
He consulted with the Security Experts attached to the OPEAAL, who further advised against arranging a meeting with the President. There was a consensus among the OPEAAL team and security experts that these individuals might not be genuine investors. The challenge was what if the team’s suspicions were wrong, and the country loses billions in investment. On the other hand, what if the team’s suspicions were proved right, what were the implications of meeting these “investors”?
8. After these suspicions, the team switched to ‘red’ protocol, with the decision to proceed with extreme caution, be in the middle, and play along, and never to facilitate a meeting between the “investors” and the His Excellency, the President. With this knowledge, and at the insistence of the “investors” Ambassador Angel made several calls to decoys working with our office. It is these decoys who posed as Henrietta Rushwaya, the First Lady, and the First Son.
9. The calls to the decoys were made in light of the leading questions asked by the “investors”. They kept pushing to have the First Family in the discussion, especially the First Lady and the President. They even threw in figures to help in the charity organisation which Ambassador Angel refused and even told them he had his own money; this part was omitted from the documentary. It’s just amazing how people are made to believe what has been propagated as gospel. The best these people got are the audios from the decoys, they never got the chance to film the President or the First Lady because the Ambassador was already informed by the security agents prior to getting in the meeting that they didn’t have the money they claimed to have. However, as aforementioned, we battled with what if the intelligence is wrong and the country loses the much-needed investment. The decoys helped in asserting that if they were real investors, we would be able to get it from their reactions after the call.
10. There is no way Ambassador Angel could get hold of the First Lady and First Son without pre-arrangements and standard security clearance procedures in place in meeting with the First Family. Moreover, the Ambassador has never met the First Lady. They never met and never had any direct dealings. It would have been prudent for these “investors” to verify if the calls were indeed made to the people that Ambassador claimed to be calling.
11. In the meetings, figures were thrown around for arranging meetings, and Ambassador played along, with the full knowledge that there is no fee required to meet with the President. When we reconvened and reviewed our discussions with these “investors” we noted that the discussion has shifted from investment to other issues that had nothing to do with the proposed investment in Zimbabwe.
The Ambassador was already informed by the security agents prior to the meeting that they didn’t have the money they claimed to have. The “investors” failed to produce a confirmation of funds to back their financial capacity to invest in Zimbabwe. Consequently, Ambassador Angel swiftly and immediately called off any further meetings and engagements with these “investors”.
He was certain that these are not genuine investors and that these people had another agenda other than investment. This had nothing to do with their failure to pay a “fee”.