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Mnangagwa appointments irk military

by Staff reporter
18 Sep 2023 at 02:02hrs | Views
Insiders within the military and those in Vice President Constantino Chiwenga's inner circle have disclosed his dissatisfaction with President Emmerson Mnangagwa's recent Cabinet appointments, which seem to sideline party officials perceived as his allies.

Last week, Mnangagwa announced his Cabinet appointments, which were largely dominated by his family members and close confidants. This move included the exclusion of Dr. John Mangwiro, who had been serving as Deputy Health Minister under Chiwenga.

Mnangagwa, bolstered by his 52.6% victory in the Presidential election, appointed his son, David Kudakwashe, as Deputy Finance Minister, his nephew Tongai Mnangagwa as Deputy Tourism Minister, and Angeline Gata, the spouse of ZESA's influential figure, Sydney Gata, as Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.

Monica Mutsvangwa, a staunch ally of Mnangagwa, was rewarded with the Women's Affairs and War Veterans Ministerial posts, along with her husband, Christopher, who played a pivotal role in the 2017 coup that led to Mnangagwa becoming Zimbabwe's President.

Jenfan Muswere, who is reportedly related to the Mnangagwa family, was appointed Information Minister, despite initial objections due to his perceived lack of support. Muswere had faced setbacks in internal party primaries, but Mnangagwa intervened to secure his election.

Sources within Chiwenga's camp, who spoke anonymously to, disclosed Chiwenga's discontent. One source stated, "The appointments were so blatant, and that is what has disappointed Chiwenga. Chiwenga feels Mnangagwa has intentionally diminished his authority by ensuring that the majority of Cabinet Ministers are loyal to him. Chiwenga also raised questions about why Mangwiro wasn't simply appointed as the Minister of Health, why Gata was given a position, and how Owen 'Mudha' Ncube was allowed to return."

Owen "Mudha" Ncube, previously removed from his position under unclear circumstances, was reinstated as State Minister for Midlands Province. He has faced allegations of financing and inciting violence in the province through a closely knit militia, which was accused of killing Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) supporter Mboneni Ncube last year.

"This is Zanu-PF; things don't always unfold as one might expect. Chiwenga has yet to reveal his next steps, but I can assure you that it won't be smooth sailing for Mnangagwa. Internal conflicts will likely mar his term until 2028, assuming he manages to handle his issues effectively until then," the source added.

Mnangagwa is currently in his second and final term as President, with signs indicating that Chiwenga is poised to assume leadership of the party and the state in 2028.

Mnangagwa's Cabinet also includes Zhemu Soda, a relatively unknown figure who replaced the favored Fortune Chasi as Energy Minister. Soda hails from First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa's Mashonaland Central Province.

Paul Mavima was assigned a new ministry, Skills Audit, to ensure his continued presence in the Cabinet, while Polite Kambamura made a return as Deputy Mines Minister. Both are close associates of Mnangagwa.

Sekai Nzenza, from Chiwenga's Hwedza District, was omitted from Mnangagwa's Cabinet, and Kirsty Coventry, who had been assumed to have Chiwenga's support, was retained as Sports Minister.

Chiwenga himself had enjoyed additional privileges as Health Minister during the previous term following the dismissal of Obadiah Moyo on corruption allegations, which were subsequently dismissed.

Source - NewZimbabwe