Zanu-PF linked business tycoon Kudakwashe Tagwirei

UK slaps sanctions on Kuda Tagwirei and four others

THE United Kingdom on Thursday announced it had imposed an asset freeze and travel ban on Sakunda boss and President Emmerson Mnangagwas adviser, Kudakwashe Tagwirei and four other foreign dignitaries, including the playboy son of Equatorial Guinea’s president who has amassed a fleet of luxury cars.

The sanctions will also apply to any entities owned or controlled by Tagwirei.

READ ALSO:  Kuda Tagwirei seals lucrative deals in South Africa while 'undercover'

UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab said Tagwirei “profited significantly from the misappropriation of property at the expense of wider macroeconomic stability in Zimbabwe, in one of the most serious incidences of corruption under the current government.”

“His company, Sakunda Holdings, redeemed government of Zimbabwe Treasury Bills at up to ten times their official value. His actions accelerated the deflation of Zimbabwe’s currency, increasing the price of essentials, such as food, for Zimbabwean citizens,” he added.

Tagwirei is one of five people targeted in the second tranche of UK sanctions under the Global Anti-Corruption sanctions regime. Others targeted are Teodoro Obiang Mangue, the vice president of Equatorial Guinea; Alex Nain Saab Morán and Alvaro Enrique Pulido Vargas of Venezuela and Nawfal Hammadi Al-Sultan, the governor of Nineveh province in Iraq.

Said Raab: “The action we have taken today targets individuals who have lined their own pockets at the expense of their citizens. The UK is committed to fighting the blight of corruption and holding those responsible for its corrosive effect to account.

“Corruption drains the wealth of poorer nations, keeps their people trapped in poverty and poisons the well of democracy.”

He said the sanctions will ensure the targeted individuals will no longer be able to channel their money through UK banks or enter the country.

Tagwirei – who is accused of industrial-scale corruption and “state capture” – was placed on United States sanctions last year.

Another individual slapped with UK sanctions is Teodoro Obiang Mangue, 53, who famously spent US$275,000 on a jewel-encrusted glove which pop star Michael Jackson wore on his Bad tour in 1988.

Obiang Mangue’s father, 79-year-old Teodoro Obiang Nguema, is Equatorial Guinea’s president and the son is seen as his heir apparent.

In a statement on their website the Foreign Office said Obiang Mangue was involved in “corrupt contracting arrangements and soliciting bribes, to fund a lavish lifestyle inconsistent with his official salary as a government minister.”

In 2004 a group of mercenaries, led by former British Army officer Simon Mann, were caught in Zimbabwe en route to Equatorial Guinea where they were plotting a coup to oust Obiang Nguema and replace him with Severo Moto, a politician who lives in exile in Madrid.

Obiang Nguema reportedly bought a US$100 million mansion in Paris, a US$38 million private jet, a yacht and a fleet of Ferraris, Bentleys and Aston Martins.

The four others who face sanctions are Alex Nain Saab Morán and Alvaro Enrique Pulido Vargas from Venezuela, Kudakwashe Regimond Tagwirei from Zimbabwe and Nawfal Hammadi Al-Sultan from Iraq.

Al-Sultan is Governor of Nineveh province and it is claimed he “misappropriated public funds intended for reconstruction efforts” following the overthrow of President Saddam Hussein.

Al-Sultan is in jail in Iraq for corruption offences, including embezzling US$3.45 million from a fictional public works programme.

The two Venezuelans are accused of exploiting government programmes set up to help feed and house the country’s poor and inflated contracts to make themselves rich.

In April the British government imposed sanctions on 22 individuals from Russia, South Africa, South Sudan and various Latin American countries.

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