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Mnangagwa appoints Sanyatwe as Commander of the Zimbabwe National Army

by Staff reporter
21 Oct 2023 at 18:30hrs | Views
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has named Lieutenant General Anselem Nhamo Sanyatwe as the Commander of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA), effective immediately, in the wake of Lieutenant General David Sigauke's retirement.

In a press release issued on Friday, October 20, 2023, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Martin Rushwaya, explained that this appointment adheres to Constitutional provisions. The statement reads:

"The President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Cde Dr. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, has, with immediate effect, and in accordance with section 216 (2) as stipulated in sections 89 and 110 (2)g of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20), appointed Lieutenant General Anselem Nhamo Sanyatwe as the Commander of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA).

This decision follows the retirement of the outgoing ZNA Commander, Lieutenant General David Sigauke."

Sanyatwe, previously the commander of the Presidential Guard, gained notoriety in 2018 when, as a Brigadier, he played a key role in the deployment of forces to manage election-related protests in central Harare.

Sanyatwe is known for providing inaccurate testimony during the Mothlante Commission's public inquiry into the 2018 post-election violence, which resulted in casualties.

In December 2018, Sanyatwe was promoted to the rank of Major General. Widely considered a loyalist of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Sanyatwe's abrupt retirement on May 29, 2019, saw him appointed as Zimbabwe's Ambassador to Tanzania.

This appointment marks Mnangagwa's first reshuffling of top military positions, resulting in the removal of high-ranking officers primarily aligned with Chiwenga, as part of an effort to solidify his authority amid internal divisions within Zanu-PF and rumors of insubordination among his subordinates.

Other notable figures affected by this reshuffle included the late Major General Douglas Nyikayaramba, who served as the Inspector General of the Defence Force, Major General Martin Chedondo, Chief of Army Staff, and Air Vice Marshal Shebba Shumbayawonda. All four were subsequently assigned to undisclosed diplomatic missions abroad.

It's worth noting that the newly appointed army chief's wife, Chido Sanyatwe, is a Member of Parliament for Nyanga North representing Zanu-PF. She was recently appointed as the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, a move that is ostensibly attributed to Vice President Chiwenga's influence.

Source - NewZimbabwe
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