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Wednesday, 21 Feb 2018

Zimbabwe Attorney General slapped with US sanctions

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The United States (US) on Tuesday imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe's Attorney General -- a top Robert Mugabe ally -- for his alleged role in undermining the crisis-ridden African nation's democracy. The Treasury Department said Johannes Tomana's "targeting of selected political opponents threatens the rule of law", and a fragile power-sharing deal between the country's rival powers.

The sanctions mean American citizens are prohibited from doing business with him and his US assets are frozen. But they also point to further tensions between long-time President Robert Mugabe and his political foe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. In 2008, the two leaders entered into an uneasy power-sharing deal, following months of political turmoil over the outcome of a violence-marred presidential run-off. The often testy relationship between the pair has been strained recently by tussles over government appointments, with Mugabe accused of routinely bypassing Tsvangirai when tapping officials for high office. Last week, Mugabe stirred fresh conflict when he appointed ambassadors to the United Nations, the European Union and South Africa without consulting Tsvangirai, who heads the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). US targets Mugabe Tsvangirai has asked the United Nations and the European Union not to recognise the ambassadors named solely by Mugabe. The United States stepped into the fray on Tuesday, questioning Tomana's appointment, in a clear shot at Mugabe.

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