By Alois Vinga
THE United Kingdom (UK) has slapped targeted sanctions on four top allies to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, among them security chiefs, accusing them of having a hand in the killing of Zimbabwean protesters.
According to a statement Monday by British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, those targeted are state security minister Owen Ncube and intelligence director Isaac Moyo.
Also targeted was Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga and former leader the Zimbabwe National Army Presidential Guard Anselem Sanyatwe (now Zimbabwe ambassador to Tanzania).
“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.
“We will continue to press for the necessary political and economic reforms that will benefit all Zimbabweans,” reads the statement by Raab.
The UK government believes the four were responsible for quashing demonstrations and killing innocent citizens since Mnangagwa’s takeover in November 2017.
Six Zimbabweans were gunned down August 1, 2018 after the State deployed soldiers to quell post-election violence sparked by claims of rigging by the Mnangagwa led administration.
Some 17 more locals also died January 2019 when nationwide anti-poverty protests elicited a brutal reaction from the state leading to the deaths.
Several more were maimed during the violence episodes.
The sanctions on the Zimbabwean officials comes as a blow to Mnangagwa’s efforts to re-engage the West after years of international isolation.
Ncube and Sanyatwe were already targeted for US sanctions in March last year.