Mnangagwa appoints former army chief as party vice president

Former chief of Zimbabwe’s army Constantino Chiwenga has been appointed one of two vice presidents by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has appointed Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi as the ruling party’s vice presidents, Reuters news agency reports a spokesperson to say.

Chiwenga is a former army chief while Mohadi is a veteran politician who also serves as the Minister of Defence and Security.

Mnangagwa had been expected to name his deputies before the end of the year, having been sworn into office on November 24.

He took over the presidency on a caretaker basis following the resignation of 93-year-old Robert Mugabe, who had ruled the Southern African nation for 37 years.

Mugabe’s resignation came after a military takeover that reportedly targeted players in his administration that were implicated in corruption.

Chiwenga, who retired from the army on Monday, is the latest in a string of senior military figures appointed by Mnangagwa to important political posts.

Analysts see the moves as a reward for the army’s involvement in the resignation of Mugabe, which paved way for Mnangagwa to ascend to the presidency having been sacked from his vice president position less than a month before.

Presidential spokesman George Charamba said Chiwenga and Mohadi’s appointments as vice presidents of the country could only be made by the Chief Secretary to the Government and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda, who is out of the country.