Zimbabwe’s President Rewards Top Army Officials with Juicy Positions, Shuns Opposition

New Zimbabwean President, Emmerson Mnangagwa

Zimbabwe’s newly installed President Emmerson Mnangagwa has appointed senior military officials to top posts in his 22-man Cabinet, in an announcement made late Thursday on state-run television.

Ha also appointed six deputy ministers and 10 ministers of state for provincial affairs. There was no opposition member in the cabinet, foreclosing hopes that he will create a government of national unity.

The appointments were announced by the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda,

Mnangagwa did not actually live up to his promise to create a slim cabinet. Former President Robert Mugabe had appointed 26 ministers and 12 deputy ministers.

The new president succeeded 93-year-old Mugabe, who ruled the southern African country for 37 years. Mugabe resigned under pressure last week after he was removed from power by the military and lost support of lawmakers in his ruling ZANU-PF party.

Mnangagwa, a former vice-president, sacked by Mugabe at the prodding of his ambitious wife, Grace, was sworn-in last Friday.

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Sibusio Moyo, the army general who went on state television to announce the military takeover of the government and Mugabe’s house arrest, is the new foreign affairs minister.

Air Force Chief Perence Shiri is the Lands and Agriculture minister. He is associated with carrying out the mass murders of Mugabe’s reign of terror against the Ndebele people in Matabeleland in western Zimbabwe, where 20,000 civilians were killed.

Chris Mutsvangwa, the leader of the influential war veterans association whose members include freedom fighters who fought alongside Mugabe in the country’s liberation struggle, is the information minister.

Former National University of Science and Technology (NUST) pro-vice chancellor Professor Clever Nyathi is the new Minister of Labour and Social Welfare. Mimosa Mining Company executive chairman Mr Winston Chitando is the new Minister of Mines and Mining Development,

Many of the other Cabinet members are holdovers from Mugabe’s government, starting from the first cabinet member appointed as finance minister.

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Patrick Chinamasa is now the substantive Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, while Obert Mpofu was appointed Minister of Home Affairs and Culture. The latter retained his position under Mugabe.

Dr Lazarus Dokora remains in charge of the Primary and Secondary Education portfolio. Dr Joram Gumbo remains Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister.

Dr David Parirenyatwa remains Health and Child Care Minister. Supa Mandiwanzira retained his portfolio which has been merged with cyber security. He is now the Minister of Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security.

The six deputy ministers appointed by President Mnangagwa are: Cdes Terrence Mukupe (Finance and Economic Development), David Marapira (Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement), Paul Mavima (Primary and Secondary Education), Victor Matemadanda (War Veterans), Pupurai Togarepi (Youth Affairs) and Joshua Malinga (Social Welfare).

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