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US relaxes sanctions against some Zimbabwean individuals, firms

US relaxes sanctions against some Zimbabwean individuals, firms


Some individuals and companies affected by the United States sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe since 2003 have been taken off the blacklist.

Among the individuals off the list are deceased Zanu PF (Mugabe’s party) members, divorced spouses of party officials and retired members critical of the administration.

These include Sabina Mugabe, the president’s younger sister and politician who died in 2010; Charles Utete, ex-secretary of the president who died in July 2016; Aeneas Chigwedere, a former minister; Jocelyn Chiwenga, ex-wife of the commander of the Zimbabwean army; Cephas Msipa, retired Zanu PF leader turned Mugabe critic; Georgina Nkomo, wife of deceased Zimbabwean Vice President.

Others are Abina Chapfika who is the ex-wife of a Zanu PF Member of Parliament; Ever Chombo, ex-wife of a minister; Rudo Charamba, ex-wife of the president’s press secretary.

The companies off the list include ZB Financial Holdings Limited, Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe (IDCZ), Scotfin Limited, Intermarket Holdings Limited, Chemplex Corporation Limited and Zimbabwe Fertiliser Company.

In July, a Zimbabwean cooking oil processing company appealed to the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to remove it from the sanctions list after shedding off minority stake previously owned by state-owned IDCZ which is now off the list.

“The removal of IDCZ from the OFAC means recovery. Our assets and resources will become accessible. We are now able to trade normally and access funding. The financial institutions that used to give us credit had stopped due to sanctions, but now we will be able to access funding,” IDCZ chief executive Mike Ndudzo told local newspaper News Day.

The sanctions targeting Mugabe, leading members of his party Zanu PF and several government or affiliated institutions are in reaction to human rights abuses and electoral fraud levelled against the president’s administration, according to the U.S. treasury.

The European Union which had also sanctioned Zimbabwe in the past has lifted most of its sanctions and resumed financial support for the government.

Mugabe has blamed the sanctions for Zimbabwe’s economic woes.