By Robert Tapfumaneyi
THE US government has removed from its targeted sanctions list, late Zimbabwe businessman and Zanu PF benefactor, John Bredenkamp and 20 of his companies.
Bredenkamp died 20 June this year aged 79.
He was ally to both former President Robert Mugabe and incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The late tycoon helped Mugabe equip his farm while also contributing towards the building of the Zanu PF headquarters in Harare.
He started funding Zanu PF from the 1980s.
Bredenkamp and 20 of his companies were blacklisted for his strong ties to the government of Zimbabwe and providing, financial and other support to the regime which has been accused of rampant rights abuses, corruption and poll theft.
The 20 companies which were either owned or controlled by Bredenkamp are, Alpha International (Private) Ltd, Breco (Asia Pacific) Ltd, Breco (Eastern Europe) Ltd, Breco (South Africa) Ltd, Breco (U.K.) Ltd and Breco Group.
Also among the firms are Breco International, Breco Nominees Ltd, Breco Services Ltd., Corybantes Ltd, Echo Delta Holdings Ltd, Kababankola Mining Company, Masters International Ltd, Masters International, Inc., Piedmont (UK) Limited, Raceview Enterprises, Scottlee Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, Scottlee Resorts, Timpani Ltd, and Tremalt Ltd.
This individual and these entities were previously designated under E.O. 13469 in 2008 which entailed “blocking Property of Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Zimbabwe”.
US sanctions included a travel and asset freeze on individuals and firms undermining democracy in Zimbabwe.
Said the US department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Affairs Assets (OFAC) in its Wednesday statement, “Treasury joins the U.S. Department of State in urging the Zimbabwean government to take meaningful steps towards creating a peaceful, prosperous, and politically vibrant Zimbabwe, rather than using public resources to blame Zimbabwe’s ills on parties other than its corrupt elite and the institutions they abuse for their personal benefit.
“As a result of Treasury’s designation, all property and interests in property of this individual and entity that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC.
“OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated person.”
The Zimbabwe government has, over the years, adamantly dismissed the sanctions as a form of punishment unfairly visited upon its corridors by the superpower for embarking on a land reform programme that dispossessed white commercial farmers of their land for redistribution to colonially disadvantaged black locals.