When a bipartisan delegation of five US senators visited Zimbabwe last week, they pressed President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his foreign affairs ministers on free elections. In March, the US government slapped key Zimbabwean officials – including its president – with renewed targeted sanctions, calling for credible, free, and fair elections.
The sanctions were in line with recommendations made by Human Rights Watch in US Senate testimony last December and by other organizations and experts.
President Mnangagwa is one of the 77 Zimbabwean newly sanctioned officials, following the November 2017 military coup that ousted longtime leader Robert Mugabe. Following the coup, the authorities allegedly committed arbitrary arrests and detentions and other human rights abuses.