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US hits Zimbabwe minister with sanctions over protest crackdown

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The United States said that it would refuse entry to Zimbabwe’s security minister as it voiced alarm over the government’s crackdown on protests and the opposition.

The State Department said it would deny a visa to Owen Ncube, the minister of public security, under a sanctions law that targets “gross violations of human rights.”

“We are deeply troubled by the Zimbabwean government’s use of state-sanctioned violence against peaceful protesters and civil society, as well as against labour leaders and members of the opposition leaders in Zimbabwe,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

“We urge the government to stop the violence, investigate and hold accountable officials responsible for human rights violations and abuses in Zimbabwe,” he said.

Western powers had tense relations for years with Zimbabwe’s veteran ruler Robert Mugabe, but hopes for a thaw after the military ousted him in November 2017 were short-lived.

Post-election violence last year after allegations of fraud claimed six lives, while at least 17 people died in anti-government protests in January after a fuel price hike.

The US announcement came the same day that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration organised a mass protest in Harare to demand the lifting of sanctions.

Mnangagwa has struggled to revive Zimbabwe’s troubled economy, with inflation still skyrocketing and shortages of basic goods.

In other news – Jo-Anne Reyneke pays tribute to Isibaya actor Andile Gumbi

Jo-Anne Reyneke pays tribute to Isibaya actor Andile Gumbi. The passing of former Isibaya actor Andile Gumbi has sent shockwaves throughout the whole country. Friends and fans of the late star took to social media to express their shock and heartbreak. Jo-Anne Reyneke and Andile Gumbi were shooting Ifalakhe when she took these pictures.

Jo-Anne Reyneke

Andile was admitted to Shaare Zedek Medical Centre in Israel after suffering a massive heart attack. He was successfully resuscitated but remained in a coma until he unfortunately succumbed to death on Friday morning, October 25th. Read more

Source: AFP