By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
22 April 2014
The US government has revised its targeted sanctions list by adding four new names and removing 11 others.
Those added to the list are ZANU PF functionaries Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede, ZANU PF supporter and Chinese tycoon Sam Pa, Zim-based Singaporean lawyer Jimmy Zerenie and his company Sino Zim Development. Pa and Zerenie are business associates.
The four are accused of “undermining Zimbabwe’s democratic processes and institutions or facilitating public corruption through support to the Government of Zimbabwe, senior government officials, and/or Specially Designated Nationals.”
“Today’s action targets those who are disrupting Zimbabwe’s democratic and economic progress,” the US Under-Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen said in a statement last week.
Rights group Global Witness raised the alarm on Pa in 2011, when it released a detailed report on how the tycoon spent millions funding ZANU PF’s re-election bid in return for shady Chiadzwa diamond deals with the military, including spy agency the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).
“This off-budget financing has contributed to CIO programs dedicated to pre-election intimidation in Zimbabwe, among other activities,” said the US.
Zimbabwe’s security sector is at the forefront of most human rights violations in the country, and Mugabe owes his 34-year hold on power to service chiefs who control a vast network of businesses in the country.
Singaporean national Zerenie is said to have acted as Pa’s go-between, “facilitating illicit diamond deals with senior Zimbabwean officials.”
Zerenie is also a director at the now designated Sino Zim Development, which is believed to be a joint venture between Pa and the CIO.
Mudede has been included on the list for overseeing a flawed 2013 electoral process. Many Zimbabweans accuse Mudede of tinkering with the voters roll, thereby helping ZANU PF to fraudulently win the poll.
One of the flaws observed during last year’s elections was the absence of the electronic voters roll, which Mudede as the Registrar-General of Voters has steadfastly refused to make available.
Last week the NewsDay newspaper said the US had lifted measures against 11 other individuals from its list, many of whom are deceased.
Those removed from the list are businessman Billy Rautenbach, the late Vice president John Nkomo former Anti-Corruption Minister Paul Mangwana, SMEs minister Sithembiso Nyoni, late former Deputy Education Minister Isaiah Shumba, Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo’s ex-wife Marian, Msipa Sharlottie, the late ex-Tourism Minister Victoria Chitepo, the late ZANU PF politburo member Kumbirai Kangai, Bulawayo businessman Peter Nyoni, as well as a company Ringerpoint Overseas Development Private Limited.
Mfundo Mlilo, the spokesman for rights group Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, welcomed the addition of Mudede’s name to the US targeted sanctions list for his role in aiding ZANU PF’s electoral fraud.
However, Mlilo said the US move may be too little too late since Mudede’s “electoral shenanigans have already handed victory to ZANU PF and Mugabe.”
“If Billy Rautenbach’s name has been removed from the list, then this is puzzling because he has been involved in regional illicit business and mining deals working with ZANU PF’s Emmerson Mnangagwa.”
Mlilo said Rautenbach has not only financed ZANU PF but has plundered and corruptly benefited from the regime and lifting measures against him will make is easier for him to transact internationally on behalf of the regime.
ZANU PF’s Information Minister Jonathan Moyo last week dismissed the latest US moves as a divide-and-rule tactic meant to undermine the country’s independence.
The US imposed targeted sanctions on 113 Zimbabwean individuals and 70 entities in 2001 in response to growing human rights abuses by the ZANU PF regime.
The US Statement is available here: http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl2363.aspx