Canada

U.S. imposes sanctions on Zimbabwe businessman, company

WASHINGTON — The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on Zimbabwean Kudakwashe Tagwirei, an adviser to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, accusing the prominent businessman of being corrupt and helping support the government of Zimbabwe.

The U.S. Treasury Department in a statement said it blacklisted Tagwirei and Zimbabwe-based Sakunda Holdings, of which he is chief executive, accusing the businessman of using “opaque business dealings and his ongoing relationship with President Mnangagwa to grow his business empire dramatically and rake in millions of U.S. dollars.”

“Tagwirei and other Zimbabwean elites have derailed economic development and harmed the Zimbabwean people through corruption,” said Deputy Treasury Secretary Justin Muzinich.

“The United States supports the economic well-being of the Zimbabwean people and will target repressive and corrupt acts and graft by Zimbabwean politicians and their financiers,” he added.

The Treasury said the businessman has used his relationship with Zimbabwe officials to gain state contracts and receive favored access to hard currency, including U.S. dollars, and in turn has provided items, including expensive cars, to senior officials of the country.

Wednesday’s action freezes any U.S. assets of Tagwirei and Sakunda Holdings, and generally prohibits Americans from dealing with them. (Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis Editing by Chris Reese and Jonathan Oatis)

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