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Chinamasa confronts US ambassador over embassy account freeze

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa today confronted the United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Bruce Wharton at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo over the United States’s freeze of the Zimbabwean embassy account in Washington. Chinamasa said the account was frozen last week resultinginthe embassy staff failing to access their salaries. It was unfrozen after the government approached the State Department. The United States added three individuals and one entity to its sanctions last week and removed 10 individuals and one company. Those added to the list were: Registrar-general Tobaiwa Mudede for his critical role in the flawed elections of 31 July last year; Sam Pa, for facilitating public corruption by Zimbabwean senior officials through illicit diamond deals, and providing financial and logistical support to the government of Zimbabwe and listed people; and Jimmy Zerenie for facilitating illicit diamond deals between Sam Pa and senior Zimbabwean officials. Sino Zim Development (Pvt) Ltd was also added to the list. Chinamasa said people must not be fooled about the reasons for the sanctions. “We should not be fooled by Americans who tell us all sorts of reasons for the sanctions. The reason is the land reform programme. This programme has been very expensive for the country. It has come with huge costs,” he said.

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