US removes Zimre Holdings from sanctions list

Outgoing US Secretary for the Treasury, Jack Lew

The United States government today removed Zimre Holdings from its sanctions list nine years after the company was added to the list together with several other parastatal companies because President “Robert Mugabe, his senior officials, and regime cronies (were using) these entities to illegally siphon revenue and foreign exchange from the Zimbabwean people”.

Zimre Holdings was one of the 17 entities that were added to the list on 25 July 2008 soon after President Robert Mugabe had bulldozed his way into office.

Mugabe had been beaten by Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai in March 2008 but the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission said Tsvangirai had not won enough votes for an outright victory.

The Commission ordered a run-off from which Tsvangirai pulled out because of violence that had engulfed the country.

The United States imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe more than 15 years ago but has been removing individuals and companies over the past few years unlike the European United which lifted sanctions on all individuals and companies except Mugabe and his wife Grace and the Zimbabwe Defence Industries.

Outgoing US Secretary for the Treasury, Jack Lew, warned Washington against the overuse of sanctions saying it runs the risk of lessening their impact.

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