Why the US has maintained sanctions on Mnangagwa, his wife and Tagwirei


The United States today said it is maintaining sanctions on President Mnangagwa, his wife Auxillia and businessman Kudakwashe Tagwirei because of their involvement in corruption and serious human rights abuses.

Below is the full statement from the US government.

Today, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated 11 individuals, including Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa, and three entities for their involvement in corruption or serious human rights abuse pursuant to E.O. 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.

Concurrently, President Biden signed an Executive Order (E.O.) terminating the national emergency with respect to Zimbabwe and revoking the E.O.s that have authorized Zimbabwe-specific sanctions. As a result, the economic sanctions administered by OFAC pursuant to the Zimbabwe sanctions program are no longer in effect.

This transition to sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Program, consistent with recommendations in Treasury’s 2021 Sanctions Review, emphasizes the U.S. commitment to promoting accountability for corrupt and abusive networks restricting the political rights and economic resources of the people of Zimbabwe. 

“The United States remains deeply concerned about democratic backsliding, human rights abuses, and government corruption in Zimbabwe,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo. “The changes we are making today are intended to make clear what has always been true: our sanctions are not intended to target the people of Zimbabwe. Today we are refocusing our sanctions on clear and specific targets: President Mnangagwa’s criminal network of government officials and businesspeople who are most responsible for corruption or human rights abuse against the people of Zimbabwe. These changes to our approach provide an opportunity for the Government of Zimbabwe to undertake key reforms to improve its record on human rights, good governance, and anti-corruption. Consistent with the findings of Treasury’s 2021 sanctions review, we are committed to the use of economic sanctions towards a clear and specific objective, in coordination with diplomacy and other tools of statecraft.”


The President’s E.O. of March 4, 2024, “Termination of Emergency With Respect to the Situation in Zimbabwe,” terminated the national emergency declared in E.O. 13288 and built upon in E.O. 13391 and E.O. 13469. As a result:

All persons blocked solely pursuant to E.O. 13288, E.O. 13391, or E.O. 13469 (the authorities of the Zimbabwe Sanctions Program) will be removed today from OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) List;

All property and interests in property blocked solely pursuant to the Zimbabwe Sanctions Program will be unblocked today; and

OFAC will remove the Zimbabwe Sanctions Regulations from the Code of Federal Regulations.

Pending or future OFAC investigations or enforcement actions related to apparent violations of the Zimbabwe Sanctions Regulations that occurred while the national emergency was in effect may still be carried out.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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