US Admits Sanctions Against Zim Top Officials Not Enough To End Rights Abuses

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By Mary Taruvinga

THE United States has called on Zimbabwe’s top government officials to reform and stop human rights violations admitting sanctions alone had proven not enough to force the Zanu PF government restore the rule of law in the country.

In a telephone conference from his Washington base with Zimbabwean media Thursday, Robert. A. Destro, Assistant Secretary for Bureau of Democracy, Human rights and Labour in the U.S government, said promoting democracy was the duty of every Zimbabwean.

His remarks following the placement of two top government officials, State security minister, Owen Ncube and Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Tanzania Anselem Sanyatwe, on sanctions for their alleged involvement in human rights abuses. This includes their directing an attack on demonstrators and political opponents in Zimbabwe.

“Sanctioning is not enough. At the end of the day the responsibility and the boundary to policy violation of human rights lies with Zimbabwe and its people,” said Destro.

“We respect their sovereignty and we only come in where we can. The whole point of sanctions is to get people moving in the right direction.”

The new additions on restrictive measures on Ncube and Sanyatwe were announced Wednesday by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC.

“Political and military leaders in Zimbabwe have repeatedly used violence to silence political dissent and peaceful protests,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Justin G. Muzinich in a statement.

Muzinich said the Trump Administration will hold accountable corrupt Zimbabwean elites for their repressive and violent rule.