US Announces Sanctions Against Zimbabwean President's Son

Photo: New Zimbabwe

The Facts

  • The US Treasury Dept. has announced sanctions against Emmerson Mnangagwa Jr, the son of Zimbabwe’s President, along with three other Zimbabweans and two Zimbabwean companies. The move is ostensibly down to their ties with businessman Kudakwashe Tagwirei and his company Sakunda Holdings, which the US has sanctioned previously.

  • According to the US Treasury, Tagwirei has been placed on the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List) for using his wealth and connections to receive state contracts and hard currency – such as US dollars – from the Zimbabwean government. Tagwirei is alleged to have bribed government officials with luxury items in exchange for receiving the lucrative government contracts.


The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

The US is bullying Zimbabwe with illegal economic measures that impact the entire country. The US may claim its sanctions are merely about targeting individuals linked to corruption, but the real motivation has always been to cripple Zimbabwe’s economy and crush its independent domestic and foreign policy, until the country’s government is forced to serve US desires and interests.

Pro-establishment narrative

Years of corrupt and incompetent policies and mismanagement are responsible for Zimbabwe’s economic woes, not US sanctions. US sanctions target corrupt individuals and entities, and those responsible for human rights violations and undermining democracy. Although they may admittedly cause some additional economic damage, most of Zimbabwe’s problems stem from the country’s autonomous governance.


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