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AN investigation by South African unit Amabhungane has revealed massive money laundering through which late President Robert Mugabe’s son Bellarmine Chatunga could have gained R10 million, just before his father was ousted in a coup.
R10 million is worth about US$526,114 at the prevailing rate.
A string of hawala payments made to a BC Mugabe through an unnamed individual working with Ewan Macmillan of the Gold Mafia exposè has been detailed in the report.
Hawala payments are illegal means of settling bills across borders with the primary aim being to avoid statutory regulations or surveillance.
They involve one party settling payments in a certain country and receiving them from another in a different country.
The same method was exposed by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit in the Gold Mafia investigation in which Macmillan played a central role.
“Other tantalising entries in the Caydees books include a “BC Mugabe”, reflecting the initials of Robert Mugabe’s youngest son Bellarmine Chatunga Mugabe,” reads the report.
“Thirteen payments totalling just shy of R10-million were made to this individual during the tumultuous lead-up to the ouster of the elder Mugabe from power in November 2017.
“At the time there were outraged news reports of Bellarmine’s extravagant lifestyle in Johannesburg.”
A more detailed report of how hard currency was shipped to South Africa by the Mugabes is expected from Amabhungane who are releasing their investigation in series form.
Chatunga, as he is famously known, is one of Mugabe’s three children, all of whom have in recent years been found on the wrong side of the law.
Much recently his sister Bona, a darling of many Zimbabweans, was exposed as having hoarded large tracts of land in Harare and beyond, including numerous farms.
The revelation came through an ongoing nasty divorce to husband Simba Chikore who is demanding a substantial claim to Bona’s fiefdom.
Their brother Robert Jr has also been in and out of the courts over violent episodes that have routinely been swept under the carpet, allegedly due to his re-emergence at ruling Zanu PF events.
Mugabe lost power to his former allies in the military working hand in glove with current President Emmerson Mnangagwa in November 2017 when two R1 million transactions were processed.
Five batches of R1 million and two of R500,000 had been processed in October with the first R500,000 having been done in September. _*NewZimbabwe*_