The United States of America has place Zimbabwe Republic Police Deputy Commissioner General for Administration, Stephen Mutamba on sanctions accusing him of undermining democratic processes and institutions in the country.
In its press release dated 15 September, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said Mutamba (52) played a role in undermining democratic processes in Zimbabwe including supporting uneven enforcement of COVID-19 related curfew which saw security forces limiting opposition activities.
“OFAC also designated Stephen Mutamba, the Zimbabwe Republic Police’s Deputy Commissioner for Administration, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13469 for his role in undermining Zimbabwe’s democratic processes and institutions.
“Over the past two years, Mutamba has taken actions that threaten and undermine legitimate political parties who oppose the policies of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party. In 2020, Mutamba supported Zimbabwe security services’ use of pressure and intimidation on prominent opposition figures. Also in 2020, Mutamba supported the uneven enforcement of a COVID-related curfew, encouraging security forces to limit opposition activities and did not allow for foreign national officials located in Zimbabwe to meet with Zimbabwean opposition parties or civil society groups. In 2021, Mutamba advocated that vote tallies not be displayed outside polling locations and that international observers should not be allowed to monitor the 2023 elections,” OFAC noted in its press statement.
OFAC also removed from sanctions former Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Olivia Muchena, former Deputy health minister Dr Edwin Muguti and nine others.
Some of the removed names are deceased while others were deemed to no longer undermine Zimbabwe’s democratic processes and institutions.