By John Chimunhu|
Now Daily News Analysis|
According to Forbes magazine, Uebert Angel Mudzanire is one of the notable entrepreneurs to emerge from Africa in the last few years.
A former lecturer in finance and financier, Angel put his knowledge of business theory to good use and became a multi-millionaire, with real estate and construction interests in Europe, Africa and Asia.
But the true story is emerging of a bright, but somewhat naivé, rural youth who walked blindly into the jaws of Africa’s most brutal dictator and is now paying a heavy price.
Forbes said the secret of Angel-Mudzanire’s success was his ability to worm his way into the confidences of celebrities, millionaires and heads of state, including Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and the late Nelson Mandela of South Africa.
Angel was born in the impoverished Zaka rural district of Masvingo province and went to St Anthony’s Musiso high school run by the Roman Catholic church in his village. His former class-mates at St Anthony’s Musiso remember him as a brilliant student who was destined to go places. But no-one imagined the wealth that Angel would accumulate at such a young age – driving a Lamborgini for show and flying around in a private jet.
The true story of Angel’s wealth, however, lies in his close association with Mugabe. As a result of that close relationship with shady regime characters and Zanu PF party members, Angel was able to exploit the numerous opportunities that every despot dangles to his hangers on. In 2014, Angel presided, as a pastor (he calls himself a prophet), over the lavish wedding of Mugabe’s daughter Bona, attended by several African heads of stateh including Jacob Zuma of SA and fellow dictator Teodoro Obiang Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea. After that event, Angel boasted about his links to the Mugabe regime, claiming he had joined Zanu PF as a child.
ON THE RUN
But today, Angel is a wanted man in Zimbabwe, facing vehicle theft charges and and on the run from the local police, who have issued a warrant for his arrest. The charges could be genuine or trumped up. The grim reality, however, is that Angel, who is now sheltering in London, can not go back to Zimbabwe. His satellite station, Miracle TV has been shut down and the Spirit Embassy ministry he runs with his wife Beverly is in disarray. The government is in the process of seizing Angel’s Zimbabwe assets, accusing him of tax fraud. Houses, cars and a farm are targetted for seizure.
Many followers of the country’s politics say Angel should have seen this coming. After all, the old adage still holds true, that when you sup with the devil, by all means use a long-handled spoon.
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