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Message to the Congress on the National Emergency With Respect to Zimbabwe

March 06, 2003

To the Congress of the United States:

Pursuant to section 204(b) of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. 1703(b) and section 301 of the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1631, I hereby report that I have exercised my statutory authority to declare a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy interests of the United States posed by the actions and policies of certain individuals who have formulated, implemented, or supported policies that have undermined Zimbabwe's democratic institutions.

Over the course of more than 2 years, the Government of Zimbabwe has systematically undermined that nation's democratic institutions, employing violence, intimidation, and repressive means including legislation to stifle opposition to its rule. This campaign to ensure the continued rule of Robert Mugabe and his associates was clearly revealed in the badly flawed presidential election held in March 2002. Subsequent to the election, the Mugabe government intensified its repression of opposition political parties and those voices in civil society and the independent press calling on the government to respect the nation's democratic values and the basic human rights of its citizens. To add to the desperation of the besieged Zimbabwean people, the current government has engaged in a violent assault on the rule of law that has thrown the economy into chaos, devastated the nation's agricultural economy, and triggered a potentially catastrophic food crisis.

As a result of the unusual and extraordinary threat posed to the foreign policy of the United States by the deterioration of Zimbabwe's democracy and the resulting breakdown in the rule of law, politically motivated violence, and the political and economic instability in the southern African region, I have exercised my statutory authority and issued an Executive Order which, except to the extent provided for in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the effective date:

  • blocks all property and interests in property of the individuals listed in the Annex to the order;
  • prohibits any transaction or dealing by United States persons or within the United States in property or interests in property blocked pursuant to the order, including the making or receiving of any contribution of funds, goods, or services to or for the benefit of the persons designated pursuant to the order.

The Secretary of the Treasury is further authorized to designate any person determined, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to be owned or controlled by, or acting or purporting to act directly or indirectly for or on behalf of, any persons designated in or pursuant to the order. The Secretary of the Treasury is also authorized in the exercise of my authorities under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to implement these measures in consultation with the Secretary of State. All Federal agencies are directed to take actions within their authority to carry out the provisions of the Executive Order.

This Executive Order further demonstrates the U.S. commitment to supporting Zimbabwe's democratic evolution, and strengthens our cooperation with the European Union in efforts to promote that evolution. The European Union has acted to freeze the assets of 79 individuals responsible for the political, economic, and social deterioration of Zimbabwe. With the exception of two individuals no longer associated with the Government of Zimbabwe, this order encompasses all those identified by the European Union.

I have enclosed a copy of the Executive Order I have issued.


The White House,

March 6, 2003.

NOTE: This message was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on March 7. The Executive order of March 6 is listed in Appendix D at the end of this volume.

George W. Bush, Message to the Congress on the National Emergency With Respect to Zimbabwe Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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