On September 15, 2022, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) added Stephen Mutamba, Zimbabwe Republic Police’s Deputy Commission for Administration, to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List) under the Zimbabwe sanctions program, which targets those involved in human rights abuse and who undermine democratic processes or facilitate corruption. OFAC also removed eleven others from the SDN List, who had been previously sanctioned under the Zimbabwe sanctions program.
According to OFAC, Mutamba was designated for supporting Zimbabwe security services’ efforts to pressure and intimidate his political opponents in 2020 and unfairly enforcing a COVID-related curfew in an effort to limit his opponents’ activities. In 2020, Mutamba also allegedly failed to allow foreign national officials in Zimbabwe to meet with Zimbabwean opposition parties or civil society groups. OFAC also reports that, in 2021, Mutamba argued against voting tallies being displayed outside of polling locations and the use of international observers to monitor Zimbabwe’s 2023 elections. Mutamba is designated pursuant to Executive Order 13469 for his efforts to undermine Zimbabwe’s democratic processes.
As a result of this designation, all property and interests in property of today’s designee within the United States or within the possession or control of a US person are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving the designated person. In addition, entities owned fifty percent or more by one or more designated persons are also blocked.