Thursday, 6 October 2016

US LIFTS SANCTIONS, BUT MUGABE REMAINS

The United States (US) has lifted sanctions on nine individuals and several companies in Zimbabwe, but President Robert Mugabe remains on the list.

In an announcement on Tuesday, the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (Ofac) said it updated the country’s Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN) by removing former Midlands provincial governor Cephas Msipa and former Education minister Aeneas Chigwedere, among others.

Also taken off the 166-long list are ex-wives of Zanu PF heavyweights, including former spouse of army general Constantino Chiwenga,  Jocelyn, and former spouse of Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo, Ever Chombo.

Abina Chapfika, linked to David Chapfika, Georgina Nkomo linked to the late Vice President John Nkomo and Rudo Charamba, linked to Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba have also been removed from the list.

Mugabe’s late sister, Sabina — who was a politburo member — and the  late Cabinet secretary, Charles Utete, also had their names scrapped off.

The 92-year-old leader, his wife Grace and nephew Leo Mugabe, together with Finance minister Patrick Chinamsa and Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere, as well as several other government officials remain on the list.

Former Zanu PF top officials Rugare Gumbo and Ray Kaukonde are also still on the list.
Zimbabwe Defence Industries, Zimbabwe Mining Development Cooperation, Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company, among other State firms still have restrictions on them.

The US implemented the targeted sanctions in 2003 over concerns that actions by certain officials in the Mugabe-led government, together with other persons, were undermining democratic institutions and processes in the southern African nation.
Ofac prohibits individuals and entities on the sanctions list from transacting with any 
American individuals or entities.

Institutions removed from the sanctions list include ZB Financial Holdings (ZBFH) and its subsidiaries. The Zimbabwe government is a major shareholder in ZBFH.
Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) —  also a government-controlled institution with investments across the economy, including two fertiliser firms — and its subsidiary, Chemplex Corporation (Chemplex), are also off the list.

Zimbabwe Fertiliser Company, linked to Chemplex, together with Scotfin Limited and the now defunct Intermarkert Holdings were also deleted from the list.

The US move to take some individuals and institutions off the list comes as Mugabe’s government has set in motion moves to assess the economic impact of the restrictions.
It is currently searching for consultants to quantify how much Zimbabwe has lost as a result of the sanctions.

Mugabe and his Zanu PF government continue to blame sanctions for the deteriorating economic conditions in Zimbabwe, which the US government has denied. daily news

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