BBC NEWS | Africa | Zimbabwe: “illegal offer to sell gold”
By Grant Ferrett
The Mujurus are among the most powerful people in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s Vice President Joyce Mujuru tried to fund a multi-million dollar gold deal in defiance of international sanctions, the BBC has learned.
The deal would have involved the sale of Congolese gold in Europe.
There has been no comment from Ms Mujuru, who was appointed five years ago by President Robert Mugabe as Zimbabwe’s first female vice president.
She is one of some 200 Zimbabweans the EU has sanctioned, accusing them of human rights violations.
A company with offices in Europe, Firstar, says Ms Mujuru’s daughter Nyasha del Campo has offered to sell more than three and a half tonnes of gold from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Ms del Campo declined to comment on the allegations and said she was consulting her lawyers.
Copies of emails seen by the BBC suggest that the Zimbabwean vice president had to pay the freight charges to deliver the gold to a refinery in Zurich.
Ms Mujuru was at the heart of the deal, says Felix Eimer of Firstar.
âThe contact goes from her to the gold mine. Nyasha was just the person who coordinated things for others,â he said.
“The person behind the deal and the person who arranged the funding for the deal that was needed to get it done and get the deal done was his mother.”
Firstar says he withdrew when he realized who she was.
The company said Ms Mujuru then telephoned its managing director in Europe to request that the decision be overturned.
The BBC was unable to contact Ms Mujuru.
She and her husband, Solomon, a former head of the national army, are among the richest and most powerful people in Zimbabwe, with vast mining interests.
Grant Ferrett is investigating the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United Kingdom and the European Union on File on 4 on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday February 24 at 2000 GMT.