Zimbabwe’s attorney-general Johannes Tomana, whose appointment has been challenged by the Movement for Democratic Change, was today added to the United States sanctions list because he has selectively prosecuted political opponents and their perceived supporters in an effort to undermine Zimbabwe’s democratic processes and institutions.
As a result of the designation, US persons are prohibited from engaging in transactions with him and any assets he holds under US jurisdiction are frozen.
“Johannes Tomana’s targeting of selected political opponents threatens the rule of law in Zimbabwe, harms the integrity of the Government of National Unity and counters the will of Zimbabwean people, who have expressed their desire to build a democratic political system,” said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is responsible for enforcing sanctions imposed by the US government.
Several Zimbabwean politicians almost all of whom have died were also removed from the sanctions list. These were Enos Chikowore, Richard Hove, Tichaona Jokonya, Witness Mangwende, Swithun Mombeshora, Joseph Msika, Simon Muzenda, Stephen Nkomo, Tinos Rusere and Josiah Tungamirai.
President Robert Mugabe threatened at the weekend to retaliate by taking over foreign companies whose governments had imposed sanctions on the country.
Western governments claim that their sanctions are targeted at individuals but Zimbabwean authorities say they are in effect targeted at the country as a whole with the aim of forcing a change of government.