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US announces Sanctions against Son of Zimbabwean President

The United States has announced sanctions against Emmerson Mnangagwa Junior, the son of Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa, alongside sanctions for three other individuals and two entities ahead of a summit of African leaders in Washington, DC.

The penalties against Mnangagwa Junior were laid out in a US Treasury Department press release on Monday, the press release states that the Zimbabwe sanctions programme targets human rights abusers and those who undermine democratic processes or facilitate corruption and United State sanctions do not target the Zimbabwean people, the country of Zimbabwe, or Zimbabwe’s banking sector.

The sanctions comes one day before US President Joe Biden is scheduled to host a summit of African leaders in Washington, DC, to discuss issues such as climate change and food insecurity. About 50 African leaders are expected to participate.

The US Treasury alleged that those targeted by Monday’s sanctions were tied to the businessman Kudakwashe Tagwirei and his Sakunda Holdings company.

Tagwirei is accused of using his wealth to cultivate relationships with high-level government officials, receiving state contracts and access to hard currency in exchange for luxury items such as expensive cars and was sanctioned in 2020.

The sanctions freeze the US assets of those designated and generally bars Americans from engaging in business dealings with them.

Mnangagwa Juniors father, the Zimbabwean president, had his own US assets blocked in 2003 after the administration of then-President George W Bush sanctioned him for undermining democratic processes or institutions in Zimbabwe.

Monday’s announcement alleged that Mnangagwa Jr has been in charge of business interests owned by his father and related to Tagwirei.

In addition to Mnangagwa Jr, sanctions also hit Tagwirei’s wife Sandra Mpunga, as well as Sakunda’s chief marketing and public relations officer Nqobile Magwizi and Obey Chimuka, a business partner of Tagwirei.

Chimuka owns the civil works company Fossil Contracting and is the director of the agricultural chemical company Fossil Agro. Both firms were also sanctioned in connection to Tagwirei and his business. ALJAAZERA

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