President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s son, Emmerson Jr has been placed on the United States sanctions list together with Kudakwashe Tagwirei’s businesses as well as three individuals.
The move by Washington comes on the eve of the US-Africa summit which kicks off in the US capital today.
Announcing the new measures, the US Treasury department said Emmerson Jr has been a key figure in furthering business interests between his father and Tagwirei, the latter whom they accuse of benefiting from his relations with the president to syphoning the country of millions of dollars through getting tenders and contracts ahead of everyone else while in turn proving state of the art vehicles.
Washington said the goal of the sanctions is behaviour change. “Today’s actions demonstrate our support for a transparent and prosperous Zimbabwe,” said the statement.
Those placed on sanctions include Sandra Mpunga, Nqobile Magwizi, Fossil Agro, Fossil Contracting, and Obey Chimuka, for their ties to the previously designated individual Kudakwashe Tagwirei and his company, Sakunda Holdings.
Tagwirei was put on the list in August 2020 for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technical support for, or goods or services in support of, the Government of Zimbabwe; and Sakunda for being owned or controlled by Tagwirei.
The US government said the Zimbabwean government must take meaningful steps towards creating a peaceful, prosperous, and politically vibrant Zimbabwe and address the root causes of many of Zimbabwe’s ills: corrupt elites and their abuse of the country’s institutions for their personal benefit.
Meanwhile, 17 individuals have been removed from the sanctions list as they “No longer undermine Zimbabwe’s democratic processes and institutions or meet any of the other criteria for designation under OFAC’s Zimbabwe sanctions program.”
Each year, the U.S. Government removes hundreds of individuals and entities from the SDN List. Each removal is based on a thorough review in order to maintain the integrity of U.S. sanctions.