Zimbabwe: Generals in Cabinet Must Quit the Military, Says Opposition Alliance

Photo: The Herald
Zimbabwe service chiefs (file photo).
4 December 2017

Opposition alliance CODE has vowed to push for the retirement from the military of two Generals who were recently appointed to cabinet by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Air Marshal Perrence Shiri and Major General Sibusiso Moyo were among the cabinet members sworn into office by Mnangagwa Monday as lands and foreign affairs ministers respectively.

The two were part of the military top brass who helped Mnangagwa to take over power from the former President Robert Mugabe two weeks ago.

However, in an interview with NewZimbabwe.com at the weekend, CODE leader Elton Mangoma said Generals should have retired from the military first.

"We are very concerned that people from the military have been appointed to serve (in cabinet) and none of them are being addressed as having been retired (from the military), he said.

"(Either they resign) or it is going to be a sure case that our military is running the affairs of our country and, in that regard, it is completely against what we think and what everybody else thinks.

"As CODE, we would like to see a professional army rather than one which continuously meddles in the political spheres of the country."

The government has since justified the appointments with presidential spokesman George Charamba said the Generals were qualified for their cabinet roles.

"Air Marshal Perrence Shiri has been driving Command Agriculture," Charamba told state media.

"It's not like he is coming from the barracks into the cornfields. He had long left the barracks for the cornfield. His appointment is consistent with the phrase 'hitting the ground running'.

"Air Marshal Shiri, a holder of a Master of Science degree in Development Studies, helped steer the Specialised Maize Production and Import Substitution Programme or Command Agriculture as chair of its technical committee.

Charamba continued; "He (Shiri) has been one of Zimbabwe's top farmers for years running.

"Major-General Sibusiso Moyo holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Zimbabwe. He is one of the best minds in the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, and he is highly experienced in global diplomacy."

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