Army General Constantino Chiwenga smiles during the presidential inauguration ceremony in the capital Harare, Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe’s state-run media is reporting that new President Emmerson Mnangagwa has appointed the country’s former military commander as one of his two vice presidents. The naming of Constantino Chiwenga deepens concerns among some in the southern African nation about the military’s close ties with Mnangagwa, who took power last month after Chiwenga led a military takeover to oust longtime leader Robert Mugabe. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Zimbabwe’s new leader appoints ex-military commander as VP

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe’s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa has appointed the country’s former military commander as one of his two vice-presidents, state-run media reported Wednesday, deepening concerns about the military’s influence after its ouster of Robert Mugabe last month.

The appointment of Constantino Chiwenga was widely expected after his retirement earlier this month. He had to retire from the military to take up the position, according to the constitution.

Mnangagwa took power after Chiwenga led a military takeover in the southern African nation that forced Mugabe, then the world’s oldest head of state at age 93, to resign amid impeachment proceedings after 37 years in charge.

Mnangagwa has appointed former state security minister Kembo Mohadi as his other vice-president, the Zimbabwe Herald newspaper reported, saying they were expected to be sworn in Thursday morning.

Mnangagwa over the weekend appointed Chiwenga and Mohadi as vice-presidents of the ruling ZANU-PF party, signalling Wednesday’s move.

Two former army generals already hold powerful posts in Mnangagwa’s cabinet, while another general was appointed as ruling ZANU-PF party commissar at a congress on Nov.15.

Many Zimbabweans had supported the military’s move to step in and force Mugabe’s ouster, cheering soldiers during demonstrations and taking selfies. But in response to rising concerns about the military’s presence weeks after Mnangagwa took power, new defence forces commander Valerio Sibanda on Dec. 18 announced that the military intervention, dubbed Operation Restore Legacy, had officially ended.

“Normalcy has returned to our country,” he told reporters, saying that the military would hand back “normal day-to-day policing duties” to the police.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

In his 40 years in basketball, nothing Chuck Swirksy has seen compared… Continue reading

Canadian officials say more coronavirus cases expected but risk ‘remains low’

The first Canadian patient diagnosed with coronavirus began showing signs of illness… Continue reading

Quebec police divers find final sunk snowmobile amid search for missing tourists

ST-HENRI-DE-TAILLON, Que. — Divers with Quebec’s provincial police say they have located… Continue reading

Personal spending a party matter, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer declined Saturday to shed any light… Continue reading

Human remains found in burned Alberta hotel after ice thaws enough to permit search

WETASKIWIN, Alta. — Police in Alberta say that after a week of… Continue reading

Country music fans enjoy free concert at Red Deer mall, ahead of ACMA awards

Fans like to get up close and personal and that’s exactly what… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Feb. 1 A Jump Rope Competition will be held at the Abbey… Continue reading

Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter killed in crash

A source familiar with the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant says… Continue reading

Ex-NBA star Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash

LOS ANGELES — Kobe Bryant, the 18-time NBA All-Star who won five… Continue reading

Canucks, Oilers, Flames primed for mad dash in congested Pacific Division

Matthew Tkachuk doesn’t need to be reminded of the Pacific Division’s razor-thin… Continue reading

Canada’s Drury wins silver and Thompson takes bronze at ski-cross World Cup

IDRE FJALL, Sweden — Toronto’s Kevin Drury won silver in the men’s… Continue reading

Officials track passengers on flight with coronavirus patient

Public health officials were working Sunday to track down some of the… Continue reading

Get coronavirus information from credible sources: public health officials

TORONTO — Even before Canada’s first coronavirus case was announced in Toronto… Continue reading

Deputy prime minister asks Opposition not to delay new NAFTA

OTTAWA — Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland is asking the Opposition parties… Continue reading

Most Read