Pedzisayi Scott Sakupwanya, a gold dealer who set tounges wagging after pictures of him posing in front of US$5 million cash and several kilograms of gold went viral on social media, said he is not a gold smuggler but a legitimate gold buyer.
In an interview with State of The Nation, Sakupwanya claimed he has a registered business that buys and sells gold in Zimbabwe to Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR). He said:
I am a legit gold buyer with gold mines and a network of over 400 runners across Zimbabwe. I sell the gold I get to FPR.
I have never smuggled gold outside the country. You can go and verify with them. All the records and papers are there.
I know people are trying to tarnish my image by calling me a looter and a smuggler but to tell you the truth, I have never looted or smuggled gold.
I am just a citizen who is into the business of mining and buying gold.
Sakupwanya said he recently lost his cell phone and he suspects the thieves who stole it were responsible for spreading the pictures. He said:
You see, in our field, we take pictures of the gold and money we have in stock and share them with potential sellers. I used my phone to take those pictures, not for clout but to show my capacity to buy to sellers because before one sells, he/she needs to know if you have the capacity to buy that’s why I would take pictures in front of the gold or money. If you noticed on the pictures, I come out holding a card indicating my name and date. I put those details to show that I am a legit dealer.
Meanwhile, FPR General Manager Fradreck Kunaka said Sakupwanya is one of the company’s gold buying agents who buys the precious metal from small scale miners and sells it to them.
Sakupwanya’s pictures went viral on Monday last week a few moments after the Zimbabwe Miners Federation President Henrietta Rushwaya was caught at Robert Mugabe International Airport while attempting to smuggle 6kgs of gold outside Zimbabwe.