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Risch, Coons: Sanctioning Tagwirei Serves as Important Step Towards Curbing Corruption in Zimbabwe

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Chris Coons (D-Del.), member of the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy, today commended actions by the U.S. Department of the Treasury under the Zimbabwe Sanctions Program, particularly with respect to combating corruption by Zimbabwe's elites.

"Today's action by the Department of the Treasury to hold accountable those who perpetrate public corruption, particularly among Zimbabwe's ruling elite, is commendable and reflects steadfast U.S. commitment to supporting Zimbabweans as they seek to rid their country of corruption," said the senators. "We are pleased to see the Departments of Treasury and State continue to act on our request from January to update the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons list (SDN list) under the Zimbabwe Sanctions Program, and to consider our suggestions."

"We condemn the ongoing government crackdown against opposition figures, journalists, and citizens who speak out against public corruption and who seek greater accountability from their government," they continued. "Designating Kudakwashe Regimond Tagwirei and Sakunda Holdings will further diminish the ability of corrupt Zimbabweans to continue to undermine the country's economic and democratic development as means of self-enrichment and preservation."

Background: In 2003, the United States began to impose sanctions on select individuals with ties to the ZANU-PF regime and entities known to facilitate human rights abuses, undermine the rule of law, and engage in the looting of state resources for personal or political gain. Following a January 2020 request by Senators Risch and Coons, the U.S. Treasury Department on March 11, 2020, removed four individuals and added Anselem Sanyatwe and Owen Ncube to the SDN list under the Zimbabwe Sanctions Program. On August 5, 2020, the Department designated Kudakwashe Regimond Tagwirei and Sakunda Holdings. The timing of today's announcement marks the second anniversary of a violent crackdown against citizens protesting flawed elections and the deaths of six protesters killed that day.