Harare, October 27, 2019 (CABNC): Zimbabwe’s state security minister, Owen Ncube, has been placed under a United States sanction amid evidence he was involved in “gross violations of human rights”.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted: “State-sanctioned violence in Zimbabwe must end now”. He called on Zimbabwe’s government to “hold accountable officials responsible for human rights violations”.
Zimbabweans are suffering because of failed leadership, corruption, bad governance and rigged elections. Only true REFORMS and a return to DEMOCRACY will fix Zimbabwe’s woes. The rest is mere propaganda and a hopeless waste of time, effort and money.
The announcement came the same day that thousands marched in Zimbabwe against US and EU sanctions. Both the US and EU say the sanctions have been imposed on individuals and companies and have no impact on the economy.
The US financial and travel restrictions currently apply to 85 individuals, including President Mnangagwa, and 56 companies or organizations.
The US also imposed a ban on arms exports to Zimbabwe.
EU sanctions also target specific individuals both within the Zimbabwean government and associated with it.
Travel restrictions and a freeze on assets have been imposed, along with the sale of military hardware and equipment which might be used for internal repression.
Some of the sanctions started 20 years ago but in March the US government added to its list military officials involved in last year’s deadly crackdown on protesters.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa reportedly told crowds the sanctions are “neither smart nor targeted”.
“Their impact on our daily lives is immeasurable and the consequences are dire,” he added.
Fewer people than expected turned up to the main protest, with only 15-20,000 people in a stadium with a capacity of 60,000. Protesters wore T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan “#SanctionsMustGo” and carried placards saying the sanctions were a crime against humanity.
Speakers at the stadium said the sanctions were the reason for most of the economic problems that Zimbabwe is facing including power and water shortages.
Business owners Shingai Nyoka said that the sanctions have put a black mark against Zimbabwe meaning banks have stopped lending companies money at affordable interest rates.
Critics say the government is trying to deflect anger about the worsening economic crisis which has seen increasing inflation and people’s incomes falling.
Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa has said the protests are part of a propaganda effort to mask the country’s “failed leadership”.