Office of Foreign Assets Control
U.S. Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20220
March 31st , 2023
We, the Zimbabwe Economic Movement, a grassroots organization founded in the United States, are writing to bring to your attention the issue of money laundering and illegal externalization of funds by the Zimbabwean government and its supporters. We urge the Office of Foreign Assets Control to impose extensive sanctions on the individuals and entities implicated in the laundering of Gold from Zimbabwe, which has been estimated to be worth $200 billion in the last 10 years.
The evidence is overwhelming that the Zimbabwean government and its supporters have been externalizing billions of American dollars from Zimbabwe. This is a clear violation of American Law and must not go unpunished. The American government should take a stand and impose meaningful sanctions against the regime in Zimbabwe. However, sanctions alone are not enough. We believe that arrest warrants should be issued by the US Marshals, for Interpol to carry out the arrests.
Furthermore, we understand that the Zimbabwean government and its supporters have been printing fake American dollars. This is not only illegal but also a threat to the American economy. We urge you to investigate this matter thoroughly and bring any culprits to justice.
According to recent reports by Al Jazeera, a number of high-profile individuals, including President Emmerson Mnangagwa, financier Billy Rautenbach, and several prominent businessmen and smugglers, have been implicated in this illegal activity. We believe that these individuals have facilitated sanctions-busting activities that have undermined the efforts of the United States and the international community to hold the Zimbabwean government accountable for its human rights abuses and economic mismanagement.
We therefore call upon OFAC to take immediate action to freeze the assets of these individuals and entities, prohibit U.S. persons from doing business with them, and work with international partners to ensure that they are held accountable for their actions. We also urge OFAC to consider expanding the scope of existing sanctions to include other individuals and entities that may be involved in similar activities.
In addition, all mineral exports and other valuable resources should be placed under sanctions. The exploitation and displacement of ‘at-risk’ populations have been rampant in Zimbabwe, therefore the ban on mineral sales will at least ensure that there will be some resources left when Zimbabwe finally becomes free. No foreign direct investment should be permitted due to the unacceptable capital risk, those who participate in these crimes must be punished, as recent money laundering cases have demonstrated.
Furthermore, we suggest that all recipients of proceeds, salaries from laundered money, government workers, including teachers, city workers, police officers, soldiers of all ranks, and election officers must be included in the sanctions list. These individuals are ‘tools’ used by the government to externalize assets and thus ‘financially-torture’ those who do not follow orders. Even university professors and lecturers who receive a paycheque from the government must be held accountable. No one should be left out of the sanctions list.
The U.S. embassy and all other embassies should be closed as a sign of solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe. The international community must stand with the people of Zimbabwe in their fight for justice and a functioning democracy. The current regime must be held accountable for their actions. The use of the military to intimidate and silence opposition must be condemned. The people of Zimbabwe need to know that the world is standing with them in their fight for justice and a real democracy.
To truly break the current corrupt system in Zimbabwe, we suggest a multifaceted approach. We need, as stated previously, to hold all government workers accountable by adding them to the sanctions list. We need to engage with the international security council leadership to promote respect for human rights by being present in areas of need. We need to conduct independent investigations to uncover the truth about what happened during the military suppression of opposition. We need to support citizen-led movements that can highlight the government’s wrongdoing
We believe that it is the duty of the international community, obviously and importantly including the United States, to support the people of Zimbabwe in their struggle for justice, democracy, and human rights. We cannot stand idly by while a corrupt and criminal regime continues to plunder the country’s resources and suppress its citizens.
As an organization founded by Zimbabweans, we are committed to advocating for economic and social justice in our country. We are based in Memphis, Tennessee, and can be reached at;
- 1251 Lamar Ave
- or through email at [email protected]
Our founder, WaMwari Divine Chaminuka Mafa, has dedicated her life to the cause of empowering Zimbabweans and building a better future for our country.
We hope that the Office of Foreign Assets Control will take our concerns seriously and act swiftly to impose meaningful sanctions on the Zimbabwean regime.
Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.
The Zimbabwe Economic Movement
Cc. USA Congress and foreign relations
Cc. USA State Department