The UK has announced its first ever sanctions imposition on Zimbabwe since leaving the European Union.

Britain has imposed a travel ban and asset freeze on State Security Minister Owen Ncube, CIO boss Isaac Moyo, Police Chief Godwin Matanga and former presidential guard commander Anselem Sanyatwe.

These targeted stand blamed for being responsible of the worst human rights violations in Zimbabwe since President Emmerson Mnangagwa grabbed power in November 2017, through a military coup.

According to the UK, their crimes include a state-sponsored crackdown against protests in January 2019 that resulted in the deaths of 17 unarmed civilians and post-election violence in August 2018 in which six protestors lost their lives, after the military opened fire on protesters.

Meanwhile, Harare and London have had a sour relationship since the turn of the millennium over alleged human rights abuse.

The rift between the two saw Harare pulling out of the Commonwealth, after a suspension over the same issue, with the then Zimbabwean strongman Robert Mugabe calling the grouping just a club.

However, Harare has been saying the sanctions are unjustified, alleging that they were imposed on the country for its land redistribution exercise that sought to correct the colonial land imbalances.

Meanwhile, Mnangagwa has been struggling to mend relations with the UK and other Western powers, after allegedly failing to correct Mugabe’s evil deeds.

According to critics, Mnangagwa is just as good as Mugabe, only with a different haircut.