Zimbabwe: Mnangagwa Delays VP Appointments, Appoints Muchinguri As Zanu-PF Chair

Photo: The Herald
President Emmerson Mnangagwa at Zanu-PF Extraordinary Congress.
16 December 2017

Zanu-PF President Emmerson Mnangagwa has appointed water and climate minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri as party national chair but chose to delay the anticipated appointment of his two deputies.

However, in what could be a hint to the widely held speculation that he could be planning to appoint Defence Forces Commander Constantino Chiwenga as his deputy, Mnangagwa said he would appoint his deputies after "restructuring institutions elsewhere".

"We have vacancies for two Vice Presidents; (but) because of circumstances which bid me to clear other appointments elsewhere and restructure institutions elsewhere, I am delaying the appointment of these two for perhaps another two days," he said during his closing address at the just ended Zanu PF Extra Ordinary Congress in Harare Friday.

Speculation has been rife that the new Zanu PF leader could brew a shocker and appoint the country's most powerful soldier as one of his deputies.

General Chiwenga masterminded the military seizure of power last month which forced long-serving leader Robert Mugabe to resign.

Meanwhile, the position of national chairman was revived in the ruling party presidium.

"For this post," Mnangagwa explained, "I appoint Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri."

Muchinguri-Shiri's appointment ignited wild celebrations from party delegates who mobbed the veteran Zanu PF politician on her promotion.

Mnangagwa, who was endorsed as party leader, said all current politburo members remain in their positions.

He further drafted Retired Air Marshal Perrance Shiri and Retired Major General Sibusiso Moyo into the politburo.

This is after the top soldiers were recently retired from their lofty military positions and appointed as cabinet ministers.

In other developments, Deputy Speaker of Parliament Mabel Chinomona was appointed party secretary for women's affairs, replacing former First Lady Grace Mugabe who was expelled during the dramatic military assisted seizure of party last month.

Elsewhere, Pupurai Togarepi was appointed secretary for youths and replaces axed Mugabe fanatic Kudzai Chipanga who was accused of belonging to the infamous G40 "cabal".

Nine lives Simon Khaya Moyo was retained as party secretary for publicity while Obert Mpofu replaced expelled Ignatius Chombo as party secretary for administration.

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa now becomes party secretary for finance, replacing Mpofu in the post.

Other interesting appointments include that of War Veterans leader Chris Mutsvangwa to replace expelled Jonathan Moyo as party secretary for science and technology while War Veterans secretary general Victor Matemadanda was appointed party commissar.

He also replaces axed cabinet minister Saviour Kasukuwere.

Mnangagwa also appointed his long-time ally, July Moyo as secretary for transport and social welfare.

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