US Imposes Targeted Sanctions on Zimbabwean Officials Over Alleged Corruption, Human Rights Abuses

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The United States has imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa, his wife, and several high-ranking government officials, alleging their involvement in corruption and human rights abuses.

The sanctions were announced by the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, targeting three companies and 11 individuals, including Vice President Constantino Chiwenga and retired Brigadier-General Walter Tapfumaneyi. This move follows a review of the existing sanctions program that had been in place since 2003.

Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo clarified that the sanctions are not aimed at the people of Zimbabwe but are focused on specific targets, namely President Mnangagwa’s alleged criminal network of government officials and businesspeople responsible for corruption or human rights abuses. Adeyemo emphasized the intention to make these sanctions more targeted and transparent.

Mnangagwa faces accusations of protecting gold and diamond smugglers within Zimbabwe, directing government officials to facilitate the illicit sale of these valuable resources, and allegedly accepting bribes for his involvement.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed concern over the reported cases of corruption and human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, stating that the new measures are part of a “stronger, more targeted sanctions policy.”

Blinken attributed responsibility for these actions, including the depletion of government funds and reported instances of abductions, physical abuse, and unlawful killings, to key individuals within the Zimbabwean government.

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