The United States on Monday slapped corruption sanctions on one of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s sons as the U.S. prepares to host a major summit of African leaders in Washington.
The Treasury Department announced it was hitting four Zimbabweans and two companies with penalties for their roles in undermining democracy and facilitating high-level graft. Those sanctioned include Emmerson Mnangagwa Junior, whose father is missing the US-Africa Leaders Summit starting on Tuesday due to travel sanctions.
Treasury said the younger Mnangagwa has been in charge of his father’s business interests related to prominent businessman Kudakwashe Tagwirei and his Sakunda Holdings company, both of which are already subject to U.S. sanctions. The sanctions freeze any assets the targets may have in U.S. jurisdictions and bar Americans from doing business with them.
“We urge the Zimbabwean government to take meaningful steps towards creating a peaceful, prosperous, and politically vibrant Zimbabwe, and to address the root causes of many of Zimbabwe’s ills: corrupt elites and their abuse of the country’s institutions for their personal benefit,” Treasury said in a statement.
“The goal of sanctions is behaviour change,” it said. “Today’s actions demonstrate our support for a transparent and prosperous Zimbabwe.”
In addition to Mnangagwa Jnr, Monday’s sanctions target Tagwirei’s wife, Sandra Mpunga; Nqobile Magwizi, and Obey Chimuka, along with the firms Fossil Agro and Fossil Contracting. All of them are connected to Tagwirei and Sakunda Holdings.
Emmerson Jnr is the firstborn of the country’s President, Emmerson Mnangagwa and Auxilia Mnangagwa. He is married to Leya Mnangagwa (nee Travis). The two tied the knot at ceremony which was attended by the country’s business and political elites, including the likes of Simon Khaya Moyo, Prudence Katomeni among other dignitaries.
Junior Emmerson is a politician born in a family of two other children, Seline and Collins and he is the eldest. His father, however, has other children from other marriages.
He is regarded as the closest child to the president and is often seen at all events close to his father. He is well known among politicians, academics, diplomats, investors, and religious clerics.
Emmerson Jnr started his degree in Australia 2004 majoring business finance and marketing but was subsequently deported in 2007 following pressure from the opposition in Zimbabwe to have politician’s children deported.
Mnangagwa then finished a degree in with Hon. Business Administration (first class) in 2009 at the University of East London. Has had a hand in politics after being voted secretary for information and publicity for the Midlands Zanu PF youth league in 2013.