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Zimbabwe: Military Muscles into First Post-Mugabe Cabinet

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Local Editor

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa appointed senior military officials to top posts in his first cabinet on Friday in what was widely seen as a reward for the army's role in the removal of his predecessor, Robert Mugabe.

Zimbabwe

Mnangagwa was sworn in as president a week ago after 93-year-old Mugabe quit in the wake of a de facto military coup.

Mnangagwa, a former state security chief known as ‘The Crocodile', made Major-General Sibusiso Moyo foreign minister and gave Air Marshal Perrance Shiri the land portfolio.

He brought back Patrick Chinamasa as finance minister once more despite his chequered record in that post previously.

Most Zimbabweans remember Moyo as the khaki-clad general who went on state television in the early hours of Nov. 15 to announce the military takeover that ended Mugabe's 37-year rule.

Shiri is feared - and loathed - by many Zimbabweans as the former commander of the North Korean-trained ‘5 Brigade' that played a central role in the so-called Gukurahundi massacres in Matabeleland in 1983 in which an estimated 20,000 people were killed.

"For most observers, this looks like a reward for the military - or more specifically like the military asserting its authority," London-based political analyst Alex Magaisa wrote on Twitter.

Mnangagwa dropped allies of Mugabe's wife, Grace, but brought back many Mugabe loyalists from the ruling ZANU-PF party, disappointing those who had been expecting a break with the past.

"Zimbabweans were expecting a sea change from the Mugabe era. After all, had there not been a revolution, or so they thought?" Magaisa said.
 
New information minister Chris Mutsvangwa, leader of the powerful liberation war veterans, was not immediately available for comment.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

 

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