How Mnangagwa Rewarded Soldiers Who Helped Him Remove Mugabe
For Zimbabwe’s President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, removing his predecessor, former president Robert Mugabe was a herculean task.
He however accomplished that task through the help of the soldiers in Zimbabwe's Defence Forces.
Haven been successfully sworn in as president, the time has come to reward those soldiers’ efforts and loyalty and he sure did when he named his cabinet.
On Friday, Mnangagwa named his cabinet, appointing senior military officials to top posts.
Mnangagwa made Major-General Sibusiso Moyo foreign minister and gave Air Marshal Perrance Shiri the land portfolio.
He brought back Patrick Chinamasa as finance minister once more despite his chequered record in that post previously.
Most Zimbabweans remember Moyo as the khaki-clad general who went on state television in the early hours of November 15 to announce the military takeover that ended Mugabe’s 37-year rule.
Shiri is feared - and loathed - by many Zimbabweans as the former commander of the North Korean-trained ‘5 Brigade’ that played a central role in the so-called Gukurahundi massacres in Matabeleland in 1983 in which an estimated 20,000 people were killed.
“For most observers, this looks like a reward for the military - or more specifically like the military asserting its authority,” London-based political analyst Alex Magaisa wrote on Twitter.
Mnangagwa dropped allies of Mugabe’s wife, Grace, but brought back many Mugabe loyalists from the ruling ZANU-PF party, disappointing those who had been expecting a break with the past.
This got some asking if there will really be change in Zimbabwe, or will the new government be an old wine in new bottle? Only time will tell.
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