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)

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

The future of Westerner Park continues to be plagued by many unknowns, including when city council will make a decision about financing its operations. (File photo by Advocate staff).
Red Deer city council delays making decision on Westerner Park financing

It will mean missing the next opportunity to apply for a provincial loan

Nineteen-year-old Amanda enjoys a ride during a visit to Spirit’s Respite Ranch near Stettler. photo submitted
Busy days at Spirit’s Respite Ranch near Stettler

The ranch, which launched operations last summer, provides support through animal interaction

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer at the announcement that the city will be getting a drug treatment court Thursday. Jason Luan, associate minister of mental health and addictions, looks on.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Veer concerned about rising COVID-19 cases in Red Deer

The City of Red Deer is reminding citizens to protect themselves against… Continue reading

Rode
Volunteering played major role in RDC awards

Under normal circumstances, the RDC Red Deer Bottling Athlete of the Year… Continue reading

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said on Thursday that the province has seen its first case of the B.1.617 variant. (Photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer nears record number of active COVID-19 cases

Alberta reports 1,857 new cases of COVID-19, 1,326 new variants

Curtis Labelle (second from left) and his band are planning a cross-Canada tour in 2022. Meanwhile, Labelle is continuing to host his weekly livestreamed talk show, Chattin 88. (Contributed photo).
Red Deer rock pianist takes on a talk show role

Curtis Labelle’s Chattin 88 gets views from around the globe

Health Minister Patty Hajdu is shown at a COVID-19 press conference in Ottawa on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Kawai
Health Canada proposes new restrictions on talc in some personal care products

Health Canada proposes new restrictions on talc in some personal care products

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady passes under pressure from Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Alex Okafor during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. Lawmakers are debating legislation to legalize single-event betting as a bill reaches final reading in the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mark Humphrey
Bill on single-game sports betting on cusp of passing — but not for first time

Bill on single-game sports betting on cusp of passing — but not for first time

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland holds a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
More supply needed to ease housing price crunch, but always more to do, Freeland says

More supply needed to ease housing price crunch, but always more to do, Freeland says

Letisha Reimer is shown in a photo, part of a memorial to her outside Abbotsford Senior Secondary School in Abbotsford, B.C., Monday, Nov.7, 2016. A B.C. Supreme Court judge is expected to deliver her decision today over whether a man who stabbed two high school students is not criminally responsible because he had a mental disorder. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geordon Omand
Man who stabbed two students in Abbotsford, B.C., found criminally responsible

Man who stabbed two students in Abbotsford, B.C., found criminally responsible

Light from the sunset hits the skyline in Toronto, Ont., on Tuesday October 31, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch
Hate crimes jumped 51 per cent in part spurred by pandemic, Toronto police report

Hate crimes jumped 51 per cent in part spurred by pandemic, Toronto police report

A passenger from Air India flight 187 from New Delhi arrives at Pearson Airport in Toronto on Wednesday April 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canada to suspend flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days

Canada to suspend flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days

Inter Pipeline's Heartland Petrochemical Complex in Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. is shown in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Inter Pipeline *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Hostile takeover target Inter Pipeline reports 60% of Heartland plant is contracted

Hostile takeover target Inter Pipeline reports 60% of Heartland plant is contracted

Smoke pours from the stacks at the Portlands Energy Centre in Toronto on Thursday January 15, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Risk experts say climate change to take big chunk of Canadian economy by 2050

Risk experts say climate change to take big chunk of Canadian economy by 2050

Most Read