The United States government yesterday removed two State-owned banks, the Agricultural Development Bank of Zimbabwe (Agribank) and the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ), from its sanctions list.
The two banks were previously on the sanctions list barring any United States citizen from doing business with them but they were issued a “Zimbabwe General Licence” on 24 April 2013 which authorised transactions with the two banks.
According to a statement by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, the US treasury department’s arm that implements sanctions, the removal of Agribank and IDBZ from the list of special designated nationals and blocked persons means that a licence is no longer required to engage in transactions with the two banks.
Two Zimbabwe politicians who were on the sanctions list, but have since died, were also removed from the list.
These are Sikhanyiso Ndlovu and Amos Midzi.
Ndlovu died in September last year and was declared a national hero.
Midzi, once the kingpin of Harare, died in disgrace in June last year after being expelled from the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front for alleged links to former Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
More than 100 individuals, mostly from ZANU-PF, are on the US sanctions list.
The US has refused to lift sanctions on the Zimbabwean politicians because of alleged human rights violations.
The European Union lifted sanctions on all individuals except President Robert Mugabe and his wife.