Zimbabwe’s Mnangagwa gives key cabinet jobs to military figures

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Zimbabwe’s new president Emmerson Mnangagwa has named his cabinet, appointing senior military figures to high-profile positions. The expectations of citizens are high and new President’s inaugural speech took those expectations to a higher level.

Mr Mnangagwa is the former Vice-President of Zimbabwe who became the President after the recent military takeover in Zimbabwe. The new national leader has made general Sibusiso Moyo the new foreign minister and gave key cabinet jobs to military figures. After the military takeover, it is pretty logical to give the high-profile positions to the army people.

The 37-year-old Mugabe’s era is over, new cabinet consist of the militaries, for an instance, the head of Zimbabwe’s air force, Perence Shiri, was named the minister of agriculture and land affairs. Mr Shiri is a figure notorious for having led the military operation against opponents of Mr Mugabe in Matabeleland in the early 1980s. The operation resulted in the killing of an estimated 20,000 civilians.

At the same time, the 75-year-old Mnangagwa has chosen to keep many of Mr Mugabe’s ex-ministers in office.

It is worth to note that several leaders of the powerful war veterans’ association, who pushed for Mr Mugabe to go after the coup, also got cabinet jobs. Chris Mutsvangwa, who heads the group, is now in charge at the information ministry. The appointments led government critic Tendai Biti to suggest that Zimbabweans were «wrong» to have hoped for change.

In his inaugural speech, new Zimbabwean President promised a lot but will he deliver these promises?

After Mnangagwa’s speech, Sifelani Jabangwe, president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), said:

“When the leader says he is hitting the ground running, everyone has to run faster so that you don’t get left behind. His indication that it is not business as usual is key because we have issues that we have to attend to quite quickly, because implementation of programmes has always been a challenge.”

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