UK rubbishes claims sanctions hurt ordinary Zimbabweans; says only 5 Zanu PF-linked individuals targeted

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By Thandiwe Garusa

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THE United Kingdom (UK) has dismissed as false, statements by Zimbabwean authorities, ruling party Zanu PF officials and affiliated groupings that sanctions were hurting ordinary citizens and negatively affecting the country’s economic prospects.

The UK embassy in Harare highlighted only five officials and the Zimbabwe Defence Industries (ZDI) were on its sanctions list, while trade between the two countries peaked US$175 million in 2021.

In a statement released on Anti-Sanctions Day, October 25, Britain said it had already injected US$114 million towards development of the country’s education and health sectors, this year alone.


“The UK has targeted sanctions on five Zimbabwean officials and one entity for human rights violations and serious corruption. The five individuals are Owen Ncube, Isaac Moyo, Godwin Matanga, Anselem Sanyatwe and Kudakwashe Tagwirei. The entity is the Zimbabwe Defence Industries. These measures do not affect trade or economic development.

“Trade between UK and Zimbabwe was US$175 million last year. We are working hard to increase this.

“The UK also provides considerable development assistance to education and health care in Zimbabwe — US$114 million this year. This is assistance in support of Zimbabwe’s own National Development Strategy.

“We want to see Zimbabwe succeed. Anything to suggest that the UK wants to harm Zimbabwe or ordinary Zimbabweans is simply false,” reads the statement.

Ncube is President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s henchman in Midlands province and and former State Security minister, while Moyo is head of the much dreaded Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

Sanyatwe was the tactical commander of soldiers, who shot and killed innocent civilians in Harare on August 1, 2018, and Tagwirei is close business associate of Mnangagwa whose enterprises are accused of capturing most sectors of the Zimbabwean economy.

Mnangagwa has blamed sanctions imposed on his officials for the country’s poor economic performance that has seen skyrocketing unemployment levels, poor health care and a deteriorating education sector.

The governing party, Zanu PF officials and benefactors are on the American sanctions list, a development also blamed for blocking access to global funds.

“The direct impact of sanctions on the average Zimbabwean is minimal compared to the economic devastation caused by years of corruption, poor policy choices, and economic mismanagement,” said the US embassy commenting on the sanctions.

“The U.S. government has imposed sanctions on 73 individuals and 37 entities – 110 – out of nearly 16 million Zimbabweans. All have either undermined democracy, violated human rights, or facilitated corruption.”

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