ZIMBABWEAN President Emmerson Mnangagwa has appointed retired commander of the defence forces General Constantino Chiwenga as ZANU-PF’s vice president. President Mnangagwa has also appointed veteran politician Kembo Mohadi as the ruling party’s vice president.
The appointments of the two men paved the way for them to ascend to similar positions in government. Mnangagwa, who took over last month from 93-year-old Robert Mugabe after the intervention of the military, is under pressure from opposition parties and the public to implement political reforms, local media reports.
During Mugabe’s 37-year rule, there was limited political space in Zambia. The last part of his reign saw the emergency of a ZANU-PF faction aligned to his wife, Grace, that threatened to usurp the army’s central role in government.
Chiwenga, who retired from the army on Monday, is the latest appointment of senior military figures appointed to important political posts by President Mnangagwa. 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.