29 bank accounts located in UK

Itai Dzamara

A TOTAL of 29 bank accounts in the United Kingdom worth £513 000 belonging to Zanu PF and government officials have been frozen since the European Union (EU) imposed targeted sanctions on P

resident Mugabe and his cronies two years ago.


The amount translates to about $3,3 billion at the parallel market rate of £1:$6 500.


A senior EU official this week said other assets worth US$50 000 ($225 million at the parallel market rate of US$1:$4 500) had been frozen in Ireland


The revelation on the frozen accounts comes amid reports that the EU will tighten travel bans on Mugabe and his cronies at its review of the sanctions regime next month.


Mugabe at the imposition of the targeted sanctions said there were no such assets in Europe. He said if any assets were found the governments were free to donate them to charity. EU officials said not all member states had reported progress in freezing accounts under Regulation (EC) No 310/2002.


“The disclosure of the names of individuals to whom frozen assets belong is, as you will understand, not possible in view of rules on data protection and professional secrecy,” the official said.


The EU Council will review the sanctions on February 20 and has said in a statement that nothing had improved in Mugabe’s leadership to warrant a lifting of the restrictions. Member countries of the EU have complained over loopholes in the travel bans on Mugabe and his cabinet ministers, service chiefs as well as business people deemed by the economic bloc to be responsible for the violation of human rights and perpetuation of tyranny in Zimbabwe.


“Lifting of the sanctions is almost out of the question. Nothing at all warrants such a decision,” said the EU Council official in response to questions from the Zimbabwe Independent. “The council is likely to deliberate on ways through which member countries could strictly uphold travel bans. The other embargoes on trade in arms are set to be extended.”

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