As Zimbabweans marched in protest yesterday against the 17-year old sanctions imposed on Harare to “to support the people of Zimbabwe in their struggle to effect peaceful, democratic change, achieve broad-based and equitable economic growth, and restore the rule of law” the United States slapped sanctions on Zimbabwe Security Minister Owen Ncube because of his involvement in gross human rights violations.
A Statement issued by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Ncube was designated under Section 7031(c) of the Financial Year 2019 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act.
“Section 7031(c) provides that, in cases where the Secretary of State has credible information that foreign officials have been involved in significant corruption or a gross violation of human rights, those individuals are ineligible for entry into the United States and may be publically or privately designated as such by the Secretary of State,” the statement said.
“The Department has credible information that Owen Ncube was involved in gross violations of human rights in his capacity as Zimbabwe’s Minister of State for National Security.
“We are deeply troubled by the Zimbabwean government’s use of state-sanctioned violence against peaceful protestors, and civil society, as well as against labor leaders and members of the opposition leaders in Zimbabwe. We urge the government to stop the violence, investigate, and hold accountable officials responsible for human rights violations and abuses in Zimbabwe.”
Zimbabwe leaders yesterday said sanctions against the country were stifling investment and development of the country.
The 15-member Southern African Development Community declared 25 October as anti-sanctions day for Zimbabwe arguing that the sanctions were not only affecting designated persons and entities but ordinary Zimbabweans as well as the region.
The United States yesterday, however, reiterated that the “sanctions target those who engage in corruption, violate human rights, and undermine democratic institutions or processes”.