Mnangagwa Names Senior Military Officials To Zimbabwe’s New Cabinet

Zimbabwe’s new president Emmerson Mnangagwa has appointed senior military officials to high profile positions in his new cabinet.

Mnangagwa, who was sworn in last week after Robert Mugabe agreed to resign, appointed Sibusiso Moyo, the army major-general who went on state television announcing the military’s take-over, as Foreign Affairs minister.

Read Also: Former VP Emmerson Mnangagwa Sworn In As Zimbabwe’s President

The head of Zimbabwe’s air force, Perence Shiri, was named the minister of agriculture and land affairs.

Leaders of the powerful war veterans’ association, who pushed for Mugabe to go after the military intervention, also got cabinet jobs.

Chris Mutsvangwa, the group’s leader, is in charge at the information ministry while another became a deputy in the Defence and Security ministry.

The appointments has led a few people to criticize the new president saying that Zimbabweans were “wrong” to have hoped for change.

Perence Shiri’s appointment, in particular, brought about the criticism as he is seen as a controversial figure for his role in leading the military operation against opponents of Mugabe in Matabeleland in the early 1980s.

The operation resulted in the killing of an estimated 20,000 civilians.

Mnangagwa decision to keep a sizeable number of ministers from Mugabe’s former Cabinet also brought criticism.

The former finance minister, Patrick Chinamas, who had been removed by Mugabe during a Cabinet reshuffle in October was recalled.

Zimbabwe’s new cabinet also did not include any figures from the opposition to Mugabe.

Read Also: Court Acquits Zimbabwean Pastor Of Trying To Overthrow Mugabe

In other news, President Mnangagwa has opened a three-month amnesty window for the return of public funds illegally stashed abroad by individuals and companies.

Mr. Mnangagwa in a statement on Tuesday said that upon the expiration of the amnesty at end of February 2018, the government will arrest and prosecute those who would have failed to comply.