USAID officials deported from Zimbabwe


The United States says Zimbabwe last month detained, interrogated and deported United States Agency for International Development (USAID) officials and contractors.

Matthew Miller, US Department of State spokesperson has said in a statement today that the team went to Zimbabwe to conduct an assessment of the development and governance context in Zimbabwe.

“Members of the assessment team were subject to aggressive handling, prolonged interrogation and intimidation, unsafe and forced nighttime transportation, overnight detention and confinement, and forced removal from the country,” said Miller.

Miller added that the US has made it clear in the strongest possible terms to the Government of Zimbabwe that these actions against a team of development professionals “are egregious, unjustified and unacceptable”.

Miller noted that the Government of Zimbabwe has said it wants to pursue international reengagement and democratic reforms. The spokesperson, however, said Zimbabwe’s actions undermine those claims.

“We take the safety and security of U.S. citizens seriously and demand accountability from the Government of Zimbabwe.

“The people of Zimbabwe deserve better and we will continue to support them as we work to build a more inclusive, democratic society with accountable political leaders and government institutions,” reads the statement.

It comes days after the United States terminated Zimbabwe sanctions program and reimposed new sanctions against nine people and three entities, including the country’s president Emmerson Mnangwagwa.

Those targeted also include Kudakwashe Regimond Tagwirei, First Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga and Defense Minister Oppah Muchinguri.

The US said the people targeted by the fresh sanctions are involved in corruption and human rights abuses.