(Last Updated on February 1, 2021 by GERALD NCUBE)
LONDON – The United Kingdom on Monday announced its first autonomous sanctions on Zimbabwe since leaving the European Union, targeting four of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s key allies.
These are State security minister Owen Ncube, police boss Godwin Matanga, Isaac Moyo who is the Director-General of the Central Intelligence Organisation and former Commander of the Presidential Guard, Brigadier-General Anselem Sanyatwe who was recently posted as Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Tanzania.
Announcing the new targeted sanctions, UK’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said these sanctions were meant to send a clear message that the UK will hold to account those responsible for human rights violations.
“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 said Ncube (53) “bears responsibility for serious human rights violations, including systematic torture, committed by the security forces in the context of the heavy crackdown on protests in January 2019 by virtue of his position as minister of state for national security at the relevant time.”
UK’s Foreign Office further said Matanga (59) bears the responsibility for the police and military’s violent crackdown on protests which led to six deaths during the post-election protests on 1 August 2018.
Sanyatwe by then was the Tactical Commander of the National Reaction Force that cracked down on protestors who a day after the country held its 2018 elections while Moyo as the Director for the CIO is said to be “responsible for acts that constitute serious human rights violations” and “has also been involved in other actions that undermined the rule of law in Zimbabwe.”
As a result of these new measures, the four will be restricted from travelling to the UK, conduct business with UK businesses or channel money through UK banks.
The Zimbabwe Defence Industries was also designated and UK companies are now banned from selling arms to Zimbabwe.
Raab also clarified that these sanctions will not deter any investment to Zimbabwe dismissing the propaganda by government officials who usually blame sanctions for the country’s economic woes.
He reiterated UK’s support to Zimbabwe saying these measures were meant to force the administration to institute necessary political and economic reforms which are often a barrier to investment.