The Opposition Condemn Mnangagwa’s New Appointments

Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe’s new president, has named his cabinet with the planners of Mugabe’s ousting landing government jobs.

Mr Mnangagwa has made Sibusiso Moyo, the general who appeared on state TV after the recent military takeover, the new foreign minister.

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

Mr Mnangagwa was sworn in last week after Robert Mugabe agreed to resign.

The man who ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years stepped down after the military intervened following the sacking of Mr Mnangagwa as vice-president.

While the new president has chosen to keep many of Mr Mugabe’s former cabinet ministers in office, Mr Mnangagwa has also awarded positions to military leaders who have previously supported him.

Aside from Mr Moyo and Mr Shiri, leaders of the powerful war veterans’ association, who pushed for Mr Mugabe to go after the military intervention, also got cabinet jobs.

Chris Mutsvangwa, who heads the group, is now in charge at the information ministry.

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.

Newspaper owner Trevor Ncube said the cabinet was “very disappointing”.

“Largely the same people that caused this crisis have been recycled. The honeymoon comes to an end and reality dawns. His concern seems to have been rewarding those who brought him to power and Zanu-PF unity,” he said.

Perence Shiri is a figure notorious for having led the military operation against opponents of Mr Mugabe in Matabeleland in the early 1980s.

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

Opposition politicians have condemned the new cabinet as a betrayal of the public’s hopes, and proof that the security forces – so powerful under Mr Mugabe – remain in charge of the country.

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