USA to add more names on sanctions list – Mullinax

GARIKAI MAFIRAKUREVA 

USA – The United States of America (USA) Government is seriously considering adding more Zimbabweans to the USA sanctions list as human rights abuses coupled with corruption that derail democracy spiral in the country, Jim Mullinax has said.

Mullinax is the director of Sanctions Policy and Implementation and he was speaking alongside Ambassador James O’Brien, the US Department of State Sanctions Coordinator during a special online briefing organised by the Regional Media Hub attended by The Mirror on Wednesday.

Mullinax applauded the ‘tremendous’ work being done to highlight to human rights abuses in Zimbabwe and said he fully expects new additions to the list to address the behavior of violation. He however, said some names may also be dropped from the list as the American Government carries out its reviews.

“We really do appreciate the tremendous work that’s being done within Zimbabwe to highlight abuses.  We’re going to continue to review our Zimbabwe-related designations to make sure that they are current.

 “That’s going to mean taking some people off the list, but I fully expect as well that as human rights abuses or corruption or other measures that are undermining democracy are happening in Zimbabwe that there will be additional interest in expanding the list as well to address some of those behaviors,” said Mullinax.

The briefing discussed U.S. sanctions policy in general, and specifically, the recent changes in sanctions on individuals and businesses in Zimbabwe.

Ambassador O’Brien appealed to the Zimbabwean Government to take actions that strengthen the democratic processes, build institutions and respect the constitution.  

He called for the prosecution of the corrupt and said these were the things that will see people coming off sanctions list and make it easier for a broader engagement, said Ambassador O’Brien. 

Asked for comment, Zanu PF spokesperson, Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa said the America must consider what African heads of State are saying before it engages the media.

“The US and its cronies should at least listen to African heads of States. They are abusing us in the name of democracy. In fact, they should just remove the sanctions and let us trade and interact with other countries without any hindrance,” Mutsvangwa.

Ambassador O’Brien also said Zimbabwe continues to have massive arrears to the international financial institutions, a deteriorating economy which is partly because of policy choices, and a result of corruption and economic mismanagement.

“What we’re asking is that the Zimbabwean Government takes meaningful, noticeable, material actions that strengthen the democratic processes, build the institutions, and respect its constitution.  

“We’d also like to see condemnation and prosecution of corrupt people– for corruption and human rights abuses.  Those are the things that will lead to people coming off the sanctions list, but they’re also the actions that make it much easier for a broader engagement,” said Ambassador O’Brien. 

Meanwhile, human rights abuses in Zimbabwe are on the rise with prisoners incarcerated without trial and Zanu PF is already perpetrating an orgy of violence ahead of the 2023 harmonised elections.

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