Home » Governance » U.S Sanctions Mudede, 11 Off the List

ZIMBABWE’S controversial Registrar General, Tobaiwa Mudede has become the latest Zimbabwean to be slapped with US sanctions for allegedly facilitating the theft of the July 31 elections by incumbent President Robert Mugabe.

The US has further extended its assert freeze and trade embargo on an Angolan businessman, a Singaporean attorney, and a Zimbabwe-based Chinese entity, all accused of propping up Mugabe’s regime.

Meanwhile, the US scrapped 11 individuals from the list.

These include businessman Billy Rautenbach, the late Vice President John Nkomo, Zanu PF ex-Minister Paul Mangwana, SMEs minister Sithembiso Nyoni, former Deputy Education minister Isaiah Shumba, Local government minister Ignatius Chombo’s former wife Marian, Msipa Sharlottie, Victoria Chitepo, Kumbirai Kangai, Peter Nyoni.

A company Ringerpoint Overseas Development Private Limited, has also been taken off the sanctions list.

Mudede, 71, was blacklisted for holding back the country’s electronic voters’ roll from Mugabe’s competitors, something Zimbabwe’s opposition claims was the 90-year-old leader’s trump card when he registered a surprise 61 percent victory in the last polls.

“Today’s designation includes Tobaiwa Mudede, a senior official of the Government of Zimbabwe who, as Registrar General, oversaw critical elements of Zimbabwe’s flawed July 2013 presidential and parliamentary elections,” said the US government in a Thursday statement attributed to its Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

The other blacklisted individuals include Angolan tycoon Sam Pa and Jimmy Zerenie, a Singaporean attorney who was sanctioned together with Sino Zim Development (Pvt) Ltd where he is director.

The US says its blacklisting of the individuals was in response to the marked group’s role in undermining Zimbabwe’s democratic processes, institutions as well as disrupting the beleagured country’s economic progress.

“Today’s action targets those who are disrupting Zimbabwe’s democratic and economic progress,” US Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen was also quoted as saying.

“These designations underscore the United States’ commitment to helping the people of Zimbabwe restore the peaceful, democratic, prosperous country they rightly deserve, and we will continue to expose anyone whose actions undercut this priority.”

The targeted individuals are further accused of “facilitating public corruption through support to the Government of Zimbabwe, senior government officials, andor Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs)”. “These designations underscore the United States’ commitment to helping the people of Zimbabwe restore the peaceful, democratic, prosperous country they rightly deserve, and we will continue to expose anyone whose actions undercut this priority.”

According to the US, Sam Pa was a well-known supporter of the Mugabe regime. “Sam Pa is being designated for undermining democratic processes and institutions in Zimbabwe, facilitating public corruption by Zimbabwean senior officials through illicit diamond deals, and providing financial and logistical support to the Government of Zimbabwe and SDNs,” said the US Treasury.

Among other actions, Treasury said, Sam Pa has given more than one million dollars, as well as supplies and equipment, to senior Zimbabwean government officials in support of the Central Intelligence Organization (CIO). “The CIO, in its capacity as Zimbabwe’s state intelligence service, is linked with activities meant to undermine democracy. “The CIO credits Sam Pa’s financial support with helping the organization survive in a harsh economic climate. This off-budget financing has contributed to CIO programs dedicated to pre-election intimidation in Zimbabwe, among other activities.”

Jimmy Zerenie, a Singaporean attorney based in Zimbabwe, is a business associate of Sam Pa who is accused of acting “on his behalf by facilitating illicit diamond deals between Sam Pa and senior Zimbabwean officials”.

Sino Zim has also been designated blacklisted for “being owned or controlled by both Zerenie as well as a senior official of the Government of Zimbabwe”.

“As a result of Treasury’s actions, any assets of the individuals or entity designated today that are within U.S. jurisdiction must be frozen. Additionally, transactions by U.S. persons or with the United States involving these individuals and entity are generally prohibited,” said the US government.

Mudede and the sanctioned pair join a list of Zimbabwean politicians led by Mugabe and some local entities that were in 2000 slapped with the US sanctions for poll theft and supporting rampant rights abuses.

U.S. targeted sanctions apply to 113 Zimbabwean individuals and 70 entities (mostly farms and legal entities owned by the 113 individuals) as of February 18, 2014.

Mugabe’s government has often dismissed the “illegal” US embargo as a non-issue while vehemently calling for its unconditional scrapping.

Mugabe blames the current economic crisis in his country to the sanctions imposed by the West and the US.

Source : New Zimbabwe