We as ZASM have noted with great regret that most Zimbabwean banks continue to close the bank accounts of strategic Zimbabwean manufacturers and companies in critical industries in the country, as a means of implementing illegal US and UK sanctions and FATF restrictions, without trial.

This is an illegal implementation of foreign laws in Zimbabwe, disregarding Zimbabwean laws; punishment without trial; an abrogation of international law; discrimination; a violation of human rights and economic sabotage by banks licensed to operate in Zimbabwe by our reserve bank.

This becomes compounded by the precedence set by CBZ, where since 2008, that bank has refused to close the accounts of people on U.S., EU and UK sanctions lists. They also persisted on undertaking transactions of sanctioned companies and government entities, and when the US tried to penalize CBZ, it [CBZ] engaged the world’s biggest law firm to challenge the penalties.

After a protracted battle, knowing that their penalties that were designed to force third parties to implement illegal sanctions were unenforceable, the U.S. Treasury removed all penalties on CBZ, and the bank continues to bank people who are on U.S. sanctions lists to date.

So what excuse do other Zimbabwean banks have for implementing and overcomplying with illegal sanctions in contravention of the UNHRC resolutions 27/22, 34/13, the 2022 UN A/HRC/5133 report and knowing well that CBZ proved that banks can successfully take legal action against the U.S. government’s coercion to implement an illegality?

The CBZ challenge of US sanctions proved that every bank in the world has an obligation to legally challenge the coercion to implement illegal unilateral sanctions, and according to the UN, our legislature is also enjoined by the UNHRC A/HRC/51/31 report to enact local laws that prohibit third party nation companies from overcomplying and or implementing illegal unilateral sanctions.

Furthermore, our government must create a statutory instrument that empowers our Reserve Bank governor to punish and or revoke the licenses of banks that close Zimbabwean bank accounts without trial to implement or overcomply with illegal, unilateral, foreign sanctions or foreign regulations (like FATF) or laws (like ZDERA or OFAC sanctions).

A sovereign nation can not be ruled extraterritorially by other nation’s laws or dictates as we are seeing in the case of Zimbabwean banks acquiescing to foreign illegal laws.


#ZimBanksViolatingHumanRights #Government

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