The United States of America has put Zimbabwe’s business tycoon, Kudakwashe Tagwirei under sanctions for using his relationship with the country’s top government officials to secure opaque and corrupt dealings which have derailed the country’s economic development, State of the Nation has learnt.
In a statement issued by the U. S Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), Tagwirei is accused of supporting the leadership of the Government of Zimbabwe through providing “high priced items” such as cars to senior government officials inorder for him to gain state contracts and receive favored access to hard currency, ” U.S. dollars”.
“Tagwirei and other Zimbabwean elites have derailed economic development and harmed the Zimbabwean people through corruption,” said Deputy Secretary Justin G. Muzinich.
“Tagwirei has utilized his relationships with high level Zimbabwean officials to gain state contracts and receive favored access to hard currency, including U.S. dollars. In turn, Tagwirei has provided high priced items, such as expensive cars, to senior-level Zimbabwean government officials,” the statement reads.
The U. S also accuse Tagwirei of using his influence to grow his business empire through “opaque business dealings” which have seen him rake in millions of U.S. dollars.
His company, Sakunda Holdings was also placed under sanctions for failing to account for $3 billion dollars which was disbursed to him under command agriculture.
“Government audit reports prompted a 2019 parliamentary inquiry into whether public funds were misappropriated, revealing the government had failed to account for about $3 billion disbursed under the Command Agriculture program, a state farm subsidy championed by President Mnangagwa and largely financed by Sakunda Holdings,”
” Tagwirei was designated pursuant to E.O. 13469 for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technical support for, or goods or services in support of, the Government of Zimbabwe, any senior official thereof, or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13288, E.O. 13391, or E.O. 13469. Sakunda Holdings was designated pursuant to E.O. 13469 for being owned or controlled by, or for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Tagwirei, ” the statement reads.
Tagwirei has on several accounts been accused of capturing the state with reports saying he has monopolised the country’s fuel, energy and mining sectors.
His monopoly is also reported to have spread to the country’s financial sector, with reports saying he controls a major stake in CBZ and ZB banks.
He is also accused of getting preferential treatment on major government tenders.
Meanwhile, OFAC removed sanctions on the recently-deceased John Bredenkamp (Bredenkamp) and the companies he controlled.
OFAC revealed that Bredenkamp owned 20 companies which are: Alpha International (Private) Ltd., Breco (Asia Pacific) Ltd., Breco (Eastern Europe) Ltd., Breco (South Africa) Ltd., Breco (U.K.) Ltd., Breco Group, Breco International, Breco Nominees Ltd., Breco Services Ltd., Corybantes Ltd., Echo Delta Holdings Ltd., Kababankola Mining Company, Masters International Ltd., Masters International, Inc., Piedmont (UK) Limited, Raceview Enterprises, Scottlee Holdings (Pvt) Ltd., Scottlee Resorts, Timpani Ltd., and Tremalt Ltd.
Zimbabwe has been under U. S economic sanctions since 2003. The sanctions have remained in place despite growing calls for their removal by the former.
Zimbabwe argues that sanctions are crippling her economy. But the U. S says it will keep them in place until the former implements political and economic reforms that promote economic growth and respect for human rights.