The United States Sanctions Two Zimbabwean Officials for Human Rights Abuses

Press Statement
Michael. R. Pompeo, Secretary Of State
March 11, 2020

Today, the United States designated Anselem Sanyatwe and Owen Ncube for their role in human rights abuses related to political repression in Zimbabwe. These designations demonstrate continued U.S. commitment to promoting accountability for human rights abuses.  The State Department urges the Government of Zimbabwe to immediately end state-sponsored violence including against peaceful protesters, civil society, labor leaders and members of the opposition in Zimbabwe, and to investigate and hold accountable those responsible for human rights violations and abuse.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Sanyatwe and Ncube pursuant to Executive Order 13469, which reinforces the Department of State’s previous designations in 2019 under Section 7031(c) of the FY 2019 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act. As a result of today’s action, all assets, property, and interests of property of Sanyatwe and Ncube that are, or come within, U.S. jurisdiction, or the possession or control of U.S. persons, are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from dealing with them.

Concurrently, the Treasury Department removed sanctions on Ray Kaukonde, Shuvai Ben Mahofa, Sithokozile Mathuthu, and Naison Ndlovu, all of whom were previously designated pursuant to Treasury’s authorities but are deceased and/or no longer meet the sanctions criteria.  Removing previously designated persons from OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List demonstrates that sanctions do not need to be permanent, and that targeted sanctions reflect realities on the ground in Zimbabwe.

OFAC’s actions are independent from the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZDERA), which requires the United States to vote against new lending or debt relief for Zimbabwe from international financial institutions, except for lending intended to support basic human needs or good governance.