US widens sanctions against Zimbabwe

The United States on Tuesday said it was widening an existing sanctions regime against Zimbabwe to include seven government-related businesses.

The enhanced US sanctions ban any transactions with the seven black-listed groups.

The US State Department said the sanctions will apply to commercial farms “seized” by Zimbabwe Information Minister Jonathan Moyo; Zimbabwe Defence Industries, a state-owned arms maker and M&S Syndicate, a holding group owned by the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.

Also targeted are two companies “representing the interests” of retired Zimbabwe Defence Forces General Vitalis Zvinavashe, the State Department said in a statement.

“Should Zimbabwe’s rulers continue to oppress its citizens and to resist forthright efforts toward resolving the country’s political crisis, we are prepared to impose additional targeted financial and travel sanctions on those undermining democracy in Zimbabwe,” the State Department said.

A high profile State Department human rights report, released in Washington last month, said Zimbabwe’s government continued to oversee “a concerted campaign of violence, repression and intimidation.”

“Torture by various methods is used against political opponents and human rights advocates,” the report added. - Sapa-AFP

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