Zimbabwe: New president gives key cabinet jobs to military figures
Zimbabwe’s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa has named his cabinet, appointing senior military figures to high-profile positions.
Critics have said that it has dashed hopes of change in the country.
Mr Mnangagwa was inaugurated as president last week. He took over from Robert Mugabe who had been in power for 37 years.
Mr Mugabe stepped down after the army took control of the country, following a power struggle in the ruling party.
Thousands of people celebrated Mr Mugabe’s resignation as they hoped the failed economy would improve.
Some had hoped that President Mnangagwa would appoint members of the opposition to his cabinet, to form a transitional government until elections next year but this did not happen.
The appointments led government critic Tendai Biti to suggest that Zimbabweans were “wrong” to have hoped for change.”Up until now, we had given the putsch the benefit of the doubt.
We did so in the genuine, perhaps naive view that the country could actually move forward. We craved change, peace & stability in our country. How wrong we were,” he said.
A minister who served in Mr Mugabe’s government, Jonathan Moyo, said the changes meant that Zanu-PF, the party which has governed Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, was “dead” and the military was now in charge.
Sibusiso Moyo, the general who became the face of the recent military takeover, is the new foreign minister.
In his announcement, he was at pains to deny that the military takeover was a coup so some will criticise his promotion to the cabinet.
The head of Zimbabwe’s air force, Perence Shiri, was named the minister of agriculture and land affairs.
He is notorious for having led the military operation against those seen as opponents of Mr Mugabe in Matabeleland in the early 1980s.