US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Bruce Wharton, yesterday quashed speculative media reports that his government had further tightened its screws against the Zanu PF government and planned to intercept funds and international humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe.
“To set the record straight, there has been no change in policy, nor reduction in assistance programmes,” Wharton said in a post on his Facebook page.
“The 106 Zimbabweans with whom Americans may not do business nor give donations are still on the US targeted sanctions list.
We still seek to support and do business with the other 12 999 894 Zimbabweans.”
His remarks were in a reaction to a State media report which claimed that the US had tightened sanctions on Zimbabwe after endorsing “final rule” stringent measures that would see the Office of Foreign Assets Control intercept funds and goods such as medicines destined for Harare.
“I’m afraid The Sunday Mail has misread or misunderstood the United States’ position on humanitarian food aid and health services offered to Zimbabwe,” Wharton said.
“On July 10 2014, the United States 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.
“As in the past, the United States will continue to provide health services and food aid on a humanitarian basis in Zimbabwe.
“In 2013, the United States mission in Zimbabwe provided more than $28 million in food assistance and $26 million for essential drugs including ARVs, antibiotics, and anti-malarial 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.”
In 2012, several Zimbabwean political, business leaders and some business entities were placed on the US and European Union sanctions list over alleged human rights violations.
However, the EU has since delisted most of the leaders and retained President Robert Mugabe, his wife and the Zimbabwe Defence Industries.