US temporarily freezes Zim embassy account

The US government briefly froze the account of the Zimbabwean embassy in Washington over unclear circumstances, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, revealed yesterday.

Finance and Economic Development Minister, Patrick Chinamasa
Finance and Economic Development Minister, Patrick Chinamasa

He said embassy officials temporarily failed to access their salaries because of the move. The Minister was speaking at the Zimbabwe International Business Conference at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF).

“I could not believe it when I was told that the US had frozen the embassy account and this created problems because we could not send money to pay the embassy workers their salaries.

“We advised them to open a new account with a different bank, but this was not possible as every other bank gave them flimsy excuses,” said the minister.

Chinamasa said the account was unfrozen only when the Zimbabwean government approached the US State Department, and expressed anger at the decision to freeze it in the first place.

The diplomatic tiff could signal worsening relations between Washington and Harare.

Recently, the US government removed 10 individuals from its targeted sanctions imposed in 2003, but added Tobaiwa Mudede, the Registrar General, whose office has since 1980 played a central role in handling elections, particularly the voters’ roll.

Observers viewed the inclusion of Mudede as disapproval over last year’s general elections, which Zanu (PF) and President Robert Mugabe won against claims of systematic rigging.

Post published in: News

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