US sanctions government official in Zimbabwe, others for allegedly undermining democracy

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By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department is sanctioning a government official and others in Zimbabwe for allegedly undermining democracy in the southern African nation.

The department announced Thursday that it has sanctioned Tobaiwa (toh-BY'-wah) Mudede (MOO'-deh-deh), a well-known and prominent supporter of President Robert Mugabe (moo-GAH'-bay). As registrar-general, Mudede controls the roll of voters that is widely alleged to be used by Mugabe's ruling party to rig elections.

The department says Mudede oversaw critical elements of Zimbabwe's flawed July 2013 presidential and parliamentary elections.

An Angolan businessman, an attorney from Singapore and a business based in Zimbabwe also were sanctioned for allegedly undercutting democracy or facilitating public corruption.

The sanctions freeze assets they hold within U.S. jurisdiction and prohibit U.S. citizens from doing business with them.

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