By John Chimunhu|
The United States Government has published a final order placing Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe officially under sanctions until 2015.
Washington is now, however, making strenuous efforts to dispel potent Zanu PF-led “misunderstandings” and claims that aid to Zimbabwe was further being cut as part of the damaging sanctions package.
“On July 10, 2014, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published a final rule in the Federal Register adopting as final, with changes, the Zimbabwe Sanctions Regulations previously published in an interim final rule,” said U.S. Harare embassy Counsellor for Public Affairs, Karen Kelley.
“The U.S. has not recently changed the scope of its targeted sanctions program in Zimbabwe. As in the past, the U.S. will continue to provide health services and food aid on a humanitarian basis in Zimbabwe. In 2013, the U.S. Mission in Zimbabwe provided more than $28 million in food assistance and $26 million for essential drugs including ARVs, antibiotics, and antimalarial medicines to the people of Zimbabwe.
The prohibition on certain transactions with the 106 individuals and 69 entities who are Specially Designated Nationals remains in effect.”
U.S. Ambassador David Bruce Wharton dismissed claims in the official, Zanu PF-controlled media that Washington was streamlining aid programmes to Zimbabwe as part of the sanctions on individuals.
“I’m afraid the Sunday Mail has misread or misunderstood the U.S. position on humanitarian food aid and health services offered to Zimbabwe,” Wharton said. “To set the record straight, there has been no reduction in assistance programmes. The 106 Zimbabweans with whom Americans may not do business nor give donations are still on the U.S. targeted sanctions list. We still seek to support and do business with the other 12, 999, 894 Zimbabweans.”
Former U.S. President George W. Bush slapped Mugabe with sanctions in 2001 to protest election rigging, political murders and illegal farm seizures by Zanu PF members.
(c) 2014 Kingdom Television Africa.