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US Sanctions Zimbabwe President Mnangagwa Over Human Rights

US Sanctions Zimbabwe President Mnangagwa Over Human Rights
Emmerson Mnangagwa

The US is sanctioning Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa and other top officials over what it called “gross abuses” following disputed elections. 

Zimbabwe’s leaders are facing new punishments for “their involvement in corruption or serious human rights abuse,” White House National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said in a statement.

Zimbabwe is already one of the most heavily sanctioned nations by the US, meaning that the effects of Monday’s announcement will be largely symbolic.

Representatives for Mnangagwa did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The announcement comes months after Mnangagwa was reelected to a second term in a contest that the opposition party and human-rights groups said was tainted by fraud. The southern African nation, ruled for decades by the late Robert Mugabe, has a long history of violent and disputed elections.

The Department of Treasury is imposing sanctions on nearly a dozen individuals, including first lady Auxillia MnangagwaVice President Constantino Chiwenga, intelligence chief Walter Tapfumaneyi and businessman Kudakwashe Tagwirei. Three entities were also included on the list: Fossil Agro, Fossil Contracting and Sakunda Holdings. All are alleged to be involved in state-sponsored corruption.

Many of the individuals and entities penalized on Monday, including Mnangagwa, previously faced sanctions under a prior program terminated by President Joe Biden. Watson said the new sanctions regime under the Global Magnitsky Act, will “ensure we are promoting accountability for serious human rights abuse and corruption in a targeted and strategic manner.”

The designations come on top of other recent actions by the US government against Zimbabwe’s government, including suspending its participating in the African Development Bank dialogue and restricting visas for individuals found responsible for or connected to corruption in the nation’s electoral process.

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