Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State
Two years ago, Zimbabwean authorities launched a violent crackdown against citizens who were protesting flawed elections. That same government has yet to hold anyone accountable for the six protestors who were killed that day. To mark the anniversary of their deaths, today the United States is taking action to fight corruption in Zimbabwe.
Pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13469, the United States is imposing sanctions against Kudakwashe Regimond Tagwirei, a notoriously corrupt Zimbabwean businessman, for materially assisting senior Zimbabwean government officials involved in public corruption. Sakunda Holdings was also sanctioned for being owned or controlled by Tagwirei.
Tagwirei has longstanding ties to the ruling party in Zimbabwe and high-level governmental officials, including President Emmerson Mnangagwa and First Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who were listed in the Annex to E.O. 13288 in March 2003. He has used his relationships to gain state contracts and receive favored access to hard currency, including U.S. dollars, especially in the Mnangagwa era.
Tagwirei is also the Chief Executive Officer of Zimbabwe-based Sakunda Holdings. Government audit reports prompted a 2019 parliamentary inquiry into whether public funds were misappropriated, revealing the government had failed to account for about $3 billion disbursed under the Command Agriculture program, a state farm subsidy championed by President Mnangagwa and largely financed by Sakunda Holdings.
The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control concurrently removed today from the sanctions list a deceased person, John Bredenkamp, and associated entities who were previously designated under E.O. 13469. This action ensures the sanctions list remains up to date and targets actors who actively undermine democracy in Zimbabwe.
The United States supports a stable and democratic Zimbabwe. Our actions today demonstrate to the government and people of Zimbabwe that the United States does not tolerate public corruption and will promote accountability for perpetrators of public corruption.