ZIMBABWE’S central bank governor, the country’s cricket boss, two journalists and several officials from the security services are all on a new expanded list of individuals under European Union sanctions.
The new sanctions, announced moments after the historic signing of a memorandum of understanding between Zimbabwe’s major parties on Monday, have been criticized as unhelpful by the South African government.
South Africa is hosting negotiating teams from Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu PF party and the two MDC factions who are seeking to hammer out a power sharing arrangement after a disputed presidential election.
Gono, journalists Caesar Zvayi (who recently left the state-run Herald newspaper) and Munyaradzi Huni (Sunday Mail), Attorney General Bharat Patel and Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Peter Chingoka are on a list of 37 individuals targeted by the new sanctions.
The sanctions now cover some 172 individuals – all said to be associates to President Robert Mugabe and directly responsible for human rights violations.
The sanctions are aimed at “individuals who engage in activities which seriously undermine democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law in Zimbabwe,” the EU said.
Also included on the list are Jocelyn Chiwenga, wife of army commander Constantine Chiwenga, and Joyce Kazembe, deputy chairwoman of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
Gono is alleged to have funded Zanu PF’s campaign of violence against supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in the run-up to the June 27 presidential election runoff. MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai boycotted the poll which President Robert Mugabe won by 85.5 percent.
Speaking last week, Gono accused Britain of instigating sanctions against Zimbabwe, which he said posed a threat to Zimbabwe’s national security.
Gono said: “As I see them, the ongoing efforts instigated by the British government to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe on account of a disputed presidential election would set a very dangerous precedent which would itself be a very serious threat to international peace.
“Conversely, the fact that there are some Zimbabwean political groups or individuals that are supporting those efforts is a clear threat to national unity and stability.”
Fourteen military officials have also been banned for being “directly involved in the terror campaign waged before and during the elections,” the EU said.
The EU also imposed restrictions, which include the right to seize foreign funds, on four companies. Zidco Holdings Ltd., described by the EU as a “Zanu-PF holding company;” Jongwe Printing and Publishing Co. Ltd., which prints newspapers and magazines for Zanu PF; Cold Comfort Farm Trust Cooperative, owned by State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa; and the Zimbabwe Defence Industries, a state-owned arms and military uniform manufacturer.