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U.S. Sanctions on Zimbabwe—Out with the Old, In with the New

March 5, 2024 (EIRNS)—In postings that Google at one point listed as being one hour apart, the U.S. on Monday, March 4, first removed, then reinstated sanctions against the national leadership of Zimbabwe.

The now-defunct sanctions, which had collectively come to be known as the Zimbabwe Sanctions Program, were removed by Executive Order 13818, signed by President Joe Biden, terminating a regime which had been in place since March 6, 2003, and which had steadily grown over the years. Originally created by Executive Order 13288, signed by George W. Bush in 2003, they were widened by two additional EOs issued in 2005 and 2008, according to the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Treasury.

The new sanctions were issued March 4 through the U.S. Treasury Department under authority of its Global Magnitsky Program, a change recommended in 2021, as part of a review of the entire sanction regime of the U.S. government. The global sanctions had apparently become an administrative mess, as they had grown from 912 in 2000, to over 9,421 in October 2021. The new sanctions specifically target Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa; his wife, Auxillia; nine additional individuals, and three “corporate entities,” all said to be part of a nefarious inner circle of financial facilitators.

In a release by the White House, the implicit promotion of “regime change” is justified by its moral concern for the poor citizens of Zimbabwe, who are being impoverished by “a global criminal network of bribery, smuggling, and money laundering that impoverish communities in Zimbabwe, southern Africa, and other parts of the world.”

Not noted (but noticed) is that this review comes in the wake of Mnangagwa’s decisive re-election victory in August 2023; the January electoral victory of his ruling Zanu-PF Party, which took control of two-thirds of the national legislature; and the accelerating collapse of the synthetic (NGO-financed) opposition party, the Citizens Coalition for Change.