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Individuals and firm targeted for ‘undermining Zimbabwe democracy’

David S. Cohen, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, U.S. TreasuryThe U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) designated three people and a business Thursday for sanctions for facilitating public corruption and threatening Zimbabwe's democratic institutions.

David S. Cohen, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said Thursday's action targeted those who sought to disrupt Zimbabwe's democratic and economic progress.

"These designations underscore the United States' commitment to helping the people of Zimbabwe restore the peaceful, democratic, prosperous country they rightly deserve, and we will continue to expose anyone whose actions undercut this priority," he said in a U.S. Treasury press release.

Those sanctioned Thursday were: 

  • Tobaiwa Mudede, the Registrar General for the government of Zimbabwe, was sanctioned for his role in overseeing critical elements of Zimbabwe's flawed July 2013 presidential and parliamentary elections. 
  • Sam Pa was sanctioned for his role in illicit diamond deals and for providing financial and logistical support to the Government of Zimbabwe and Specially Designated Nationals. The support he provided -- more than $1 million, plus supplies and equipment -- were given to senior Zimbabwean officials to fund the state's intelligence service, the Central Intelligence Organization (CIO), OFAC says.

The CIO has been linked with persons and actions meant to undermine democracy, and the CIO has credited Sam Pa's financial support for enabling it to weather a harsh economic climate. His financing enabled the CIO to participate in pre-election intimidation activity in Zimbabwe, among other actions.

  • Jimmy Zerenie, a Singaporean attorney based in Zimbabwe, was the third man sanctioned by OFAC. He has served as Sam Pa's business associate and allegedly facilitated illegal diamond deals between Sam Pa and senior Zimbabwe government officials.
  • Sino Zim Development Ltd., a Zimbabwe-based entity, was also sanctioned on Thursday. Sino Zim Development is owned or controlled by Jimmy Zerenie as well as a senior Zimbabwe government official.

As a result of being sanctioned and placed on the Specially Designated Nationals list maintained by OFAC, any of the individuals' and entity's assets that are within the jurisdiction of the United States are frozen. Also, transactions by U.S. persons or with the U.S. government that involve any of these sanctioned parties are generally prohibited.


Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.