Crikey can now name nine children of senior figures in the disgraced regime of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe who are either studying or resident in Australia.

The children live here despite the Australian Government’s financial and travel sanctions against close associates and supporters of the Mugabe regime.

According to Peter Murphy from the Zimbabwe Information Centre in Sydney, “these children of the powerful elite in ZANU-PF are enjoying a luxurious life here in Australia … and this is financed by the plunder of Zimbabwe and the terrible suffering of the vast majority of the Zimbabwean people”. They should have the financial support they receive from their wealthy Zimbabwe families cut off, he says.

Crikey reported on this issue in late March. Today, the ZIC has identified at least nine children either studying or resident in Australia:

1. Sylvester Chihuri, son of Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri

2. Tendai Nguni, son of Sylvester Nguni, Deputy Minister for Agriculture

3. Kudzai Muchena, son of Olivia Muchena, Minister for Science & Technology Development

4. Thelma Chombo, daughter of Minister for Local Government, Ignatius Chombo

5. Taona Karimanzira, son of Harare Provincial Governor David Karimanzira, is in Brisbane

6. Emmerson Mnangagwa, son of Emerson Mnangagwa, Minister for Rural Housing

7. Pride Gono, Praise Gono, Passion Gono (children of Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono). Pride and Praise, twin sisters, are at Latrobe University in Melbourne. Passion is a son of Gideon Gono, and is said to be working in Sydney.

The current Australian government bans against Zimbabwean figures don’t extend to family members. However, in order to send children to Australia and support them while here, financial transactions must surely be taking place, if not by leaders of the ZANU-PF then on their behalf.

While the Australian government has been hardline in its treatment of the Zimbabwean regime, the current policy exception is starting to look like a chink in its armour.

When we asked DFAT in March whether bans would be taken out against children (and family members) of the Mugabe Government, we were told by a spokesman that “we and other like-mindeds are looking to further tighten these sanctions to pressure the regime and are currently examining a range of options”.  

Peter Fray

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