Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register



Cablegate: Possible Financial Sanctions Violation

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.





E. O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Possible Financial Sanctions Violation

1. (SBU) Various news reports over the past several
months have alleged that a possible grain deal between a
GOZ parastatal and U.S. firm Sentry Financial, aspects of
which may have violated Executive Order 13288 of March 7,
2003, which restricts financial transactions between U.S.
entities and 77 Zimbabweans connected to the GOZ and
ruling Zanu-PF party. An opposition Movement of
Democratic Change (MDC) activist has pressed the issue,
including writing directly to Sentry. We have not been
able to substantiate these reports in Harare and request
that the Department of State pass to the Department of
Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) for
further investigation (see paragraph 6).

Alleged Grain Deal

2. (SBU) In late-May, Africa Confidential - a bimonthly,
London-based newsletter about African politics and
economics - first reported an alleged grain deal between
the Zimbabwean parastatal Grain Marketing Board (GMB) and
Sentry Financial of Salt Lake City, UT. The article
cited as its source a memorandum between Jewel Bank
(owned by Central Bank head Gideon Gono) and the GMB in
which Sentry Financial is alleged to have offered a
US$700 million loan facility to the GOZ for grain

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

3. (SBU) Zimbabwe's opposition subsequently picked up on
the reported deal. MDC National Executive Member Eddie
Cross sent a letter to Sentry Financial Executive Vice
President Kirk Heaton on May 22. Cross subsequently made
the letter public. In it he asserts: "As a U.S. company
you are also violating the wishes of your government and
cannot expect any succor from that quarter." Cross does
not refer specifically to financial sanctions (and the
GMB is not a sanctioned entity), rather his objection is
that the GOZ would use the grain as a political weapon.

4. (SBU) For its part, the GOZ has denied that any deal
exists. On May 16, Agriculture Minister Joseph Made said
publicly that Zimbabwe did not require grain imports due
to the success of fast-track land reform. Made
reiterated GOZ forecasts of a banner maize harvest of 2.4
million tons, far exceeding the country's 1.8 million ton
consumption needs.

5. (SBU) Subsequent Africa Confidential articles have
further alleged that Mashonaland Tobacco Company - a part-
subsidiary of U.S. firm Dimon of Danville, VA -
guaranteed the line of credit in return for tobacco
supplies. Africa Confidential and the local opposition
press also asserted that some of the tobacco Mashonaland
Tobacco Company purchased could have originated on farms
occupied by Zimbabwe Defense Industries (ZDI). ZDI is on
the Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset
Control's designated sanctions list and were this
allegation substantiated, it could constitute a violation
of EO 13288. (Note: Central Bank Governor Gono is on the
travel ban but not on the financial sanctions list.) By
early-June, several U.S. media outlets, including the
L.A. Times on June 9, ran articles reporting the deal and
alleging that it violated U.S. sanctions on Zimbabwe.

Comment and Action Request

65. (SBU) The Embassy has not succeeded in substantiating
whether a alleged deal exists between the GMB and the two
U.S. firms. Nor are we able to track the origins of the
tobacco cited in the media. Post requests that the
Department of State refer the matter to the Department of
Treasury's OFAC for further investigation. The
Department should alert OFAC that Senator Russell
Feingold has also requested information about the
purported transactions.


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
World Headlines

UN News: Aid Access Is Key Priority

Among the key issues facing diplomats is securing the release of a reported 199 Israeli hostages, seized during the Hamas raid. “History is watching,” says Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths. “This war was started by taking those hostages. Of course, there's a history between Palestinian people and the Israeli people, and I'm not denying any of that. But that act alone lit a fire, which can only be put out with the release of those hostages.” More

Save The Children: Four Earthquakes In a Week Leave Thousands Homeless

Families in western Afghanistan are reeling after a fourth earthquake hit Herat Province, crumbling buildings and forcing people to flee once again, with thousands now living in tents exposed to fierce winds and dust storms. The latest 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit 30 km outside of Herat on Sunday, shattering communities still reeling from strong and shallow aftershocks. More

UN News: Nowhere To Go In Gaza

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said some 1.1M people would be expected to leave northern Gaza and that such a movement would be “impossible” without devastating humanitarian consequences and appeals for the order to be rescinded. The WHO joined the call for Israel to rescind the relocation order, which amounted to a “death sentence” for many. More

Access Now: Telecom Blackout In Gaza An Attack On Human Rights

By October 10, reports indicated that fixed-line internet, mobile data, SMS, telephone, and TV networks are all seriously compromised. With significant and increasing damage to the electrical grid, orders by the Israeli Ministry of Energy to stop supplying electricity and the last remaining power station now out of fuel, many are no longer able to charge devices that are essential to communicate and access information. More


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.