Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa Sanctioned by US for Human Rights Abuses

On Monday, the United States imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa, along with his first lady and several other government officials, citing their alleged involvement in corruption and human rights violations. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control targeted three entities and eleven individuals, including Mnangagwa, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, and retired Brig. Gen. Walter Tapfumaneyi. Mnangagwa specifically faces accusations of shielding gold and diamond smugglers, instructing officials to facilitate illicit trade, and accepting bribes. President Joe Biden signed an executive order terminating Zimbabwe’s national emergency and revoking country-specific sanctions, instead utilizing a Trump-era executive order implementing the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act for issuing the sanctions. Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo clarified that the sanctions are not aimed at the Zimbabwean people but rather at Mnangagwa’s network of officials and businesspersons responsible for corruption and human rights abuses. Zimbabwe’s government spokesman Nick Mangwana responded to the sanctions on X, emphasizing that when senior leadership and corporate figures are targeted, the entire country feels the impact. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken asserted that these sanctions reflect a more targeted approach toward Zimbabwe, holding key individuals accountable for actions like embezzlement. Mnangagwa began his second presidential term in September last year.