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US sanctions Zimbabwe president Emmerson Mnangagwa over alleged abuses | Politics News

US targets Mnangagwa, his spouse and prime authorities officers in overhaul of sanctions regime imposed in 2003.

The United States has sanctioned Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa, his spouse and senior authorities officers for his or her alleged involvement in corruption and human rights abuses.

The US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control introduced the sanctions – concentrating on three firms and 11 folks, together with the Mnangagwas, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, and retired Brigadier-General Walter Tapfumaneyi – after a evaluation of the sanctions programme that had been in place since 2003.

Other than the folks listed on Monday, Zimbabweans previously underneath US sanctions will see restrictions lifted.

“The changes we are making today are intended to make clear what has always been true: our sanctions are not intended to target the people of Zimbabwe,” Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo mentioned.

“We are refocusing our sanctions on clear and specific targets: President Mnangagwa’s criminal network of government officials and businesspeople who are most responsible for corruption or human rights abuse against the people of Zimbabwe,” he mentioned.

Mnangagwa is accused of defending gold and diamond smugglers that function in Zimbabwe and directing authorities officers to facilitate the sale of gold and diamonds in illicit markets, and taking bribes in trade for his companies.

An Al Jazeera investigation final 12 months discovered Zimbabwe’s authorities was utilizing smuggling gangs to promote gold value lots of of tens of millions of {dollars}, serving to to mitigate the affect of sanctions. Gold is the nation’s largest export.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned the brand new measures have been a part of a “stronger, more targeted sanctions policy” on Zimbabwe and voiced concern over “serious cases of corruption and human rights abuse.”

“Key individuals, including members of the government of Zimbabwe, bear responsibility for these actions, including the looting of government coffers that robs Zimbabweans of public resources,” Blinken mentioned in a press release.

“Multiple cases of abductions, physical abuse, and unlawful killing have left citizens living in fear.”

‘This is massive’

The earlier sanctions have been imposed after a marketing campaign of pressured takeover of land from white farmers.

The Zimbabwean authorities welcomed these measures’ removing.

“Well, this is massive,” authorities spokesman Nick Mangwana wrote on X, in what he known as “a great vindication” of Mnangagwa’s international coverage.

“That said, as long our president is under sanctions Zimbabwe remains under illegal sanctions, as long as members of the First Family are under sanctions, Zimbabwe remains under illegal sanctions, and as long as senior leadership is under sanctions, we are all under sanctions,” he added.

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller quipped in response: “It’s rare that you see a government say that sanctions on the sitting president is a victory for the government.”

In Zimbabwe’s neighbour Zambia, President Hakainde Hichilema praised US President Joe Biden for ending the 2003 programme.

“This is further evidence that Pres. Biden listens to his African partners. We hope this is an opportunity for a new direction for Zimbabwe and regional engagement,” Hichilema wrote on X.

Mnangagwa, whose celebration has been in energy for greater than 4 a long time, was declared the winner in elections final August that worldwide observers mentioned fell in need of democratic requirements.

Mnangagwa pushed an ailing Robert Mugabe out of workplace in 2017. Mugabe died two years later on the age of 95.

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