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UK Imposes Sanctions On Four Zimbabwe Security Chiefs

The United Kingdom has imposed sanctions on four of Zim’s security chiefs over human rights violations – including the deaths of protestors in 2019.

The four are State Security Minister Owen Ncube, Central Intelligence Director General Isaac Moyo, Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga and former Presidential Guard Commander, Brigadier General Anslem Sanyatwa former Presidential Guard Commander.

A statement from the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office announced that the sanctions will include travel bans and asset freeze.

“The new sanctions include a travel ban and asset freeze on four officials: Owen Ncube, Minister for State Security; Isaac Moyo, Director General of the Central Intelligence Organisation; Godwin Matanga, Commissioner General of the Zimbabwe Republic Police; and Anselem Sanyatwe, former Brigadier General, Commander of the Presidential Guard and Tactical Commander of the National Reaction Force.

“These targeted designations hold to account those responsible for the worst human rights violations against the people of Zimbabwe since President Emmerson Mnangagwa took power in November 2017. This includes a state-sponsored crackdown against protests in January 2019 that resulted in the deaths of 17 Zimbabweans and post-election violence in August 2018 in which six protestors lost their lives,” read the statement.

The latest development, the UK says will not deter investment into the country however, UK investors bemoan the country’s currency management, property rights and legal system as a hindrance.

“Contrary to claims by those who seek to stop institutional reform and respect for human rights in Zimbabwe, these sanctions will not deter investment into the country. Instead, UK investors repeatedly highlight three concerns that prevent them from investing in Zimbabwe: poorly-managed currency; arbitrary property rights and the legal system.”

UK’s Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab said the embargo will only target senior Government officials and not ordinary Zimbabweans.

“These sanctions send a clear message that we will hold to account those responsible for the most egregious human rights violations, including the deaths of innocent Zimbabweans. These sanctions target senior individuals in the Government, and not ordinary Zimbabweans. We will continue to press for the necessary political and economic reforms that will benefit all Zimbabweans,” said Raab

The UK cited The Motlanthe Commission of Inquiry into the post elections violence that killed six civilians and concluded that the use of live ammunition on civilians was “clearly unjustified and disproportionate”.

It also noted the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission’s January 28 2019 report on the response to the January 2019 fuel protests which found that law enforcement agents seemed to “resort to use of brute, excessive and disproportionate force in most circumstances thereby causing avoidable loss of life and also worsening the situation”, resulting in the deaths of 17 people.

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