The US Government has imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe’s state security minister, Owen Ncube, over what it says is credible information of his involvement in “gross violations of human rights,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday.
Pompeo said in a statement that Donald Trump’s administration was troubled by the “Zimbabwean government’s use of state-sanctioned violence against” protesters, opposition leaders and labor leaders.
Below is the full statement from Mike Pompeo.
Today, the Department designates Owen Ncube under Section 7031(c) of the FY 2019 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act (Div. F, P.L. 116-6), as carried forward by the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2020 (Div. A, P.L. 116-59) due to his involvement in gross violations of human rights. Section 7031(c) provides that, in cases where the Secretary of State has credible information that foreign officials have been involved in significant corruption or a gross violation of human rights, those individuals are ineligible for entry into the United States and may be publically or privately designated as such by the Secretary of State. The Department has credible information that Owen Ncube was involved in gross violations of human rights in his capacity as Zimbabwe’s Minister of State for National Security.
We are deeply troubled by the Zimbabwean government’s use of state-sanctioned violence against peaceful protestors, and civil society, as well as against labor leaders and members of the opposition leaders in Zimbabwe. We urge the government to stop the violence, investigate, and hold accountable officials responsible for human rights violations and abuses in Zimbabwe.
U.S. sanctions target those who engage in corruption, violate human rights, and undermine democratic institutions or processes. State-sanctioned violence creates a culture of impunity for human rights abusers. The United States continues to support the Zimbabwean people in need, especially through humanitarian and health assistance. We will continue to press the Government of Zimbabwe to implement necessary political and economic reforms to provide Zimbabwean citizens the prosperity, security, and well-being they deserve.