Zimbabwe ex-army chief who helped oust Mugabe sworn in as VP


Chiwenga, whose appearance on state television on November 15 preceded armed soldiers taking to the streets, paving the way for Emmerson Mnangagwa to become president, is the latest in a string of military leaders to be elevated to government positions.

Mugabe, 93, was ousted from power after the military intervened in response to internal feuding and factionalism in the ruling ZANU-PF party over who would succeed the autocratic leader.

He was replaced by his long-time ally Mnangagwa, who had fallen out with Mugabe after the president sided with his 52-year-old wife Grace in a bitter feud.

The local Daily News reports that Mnangagwa's government has given the country's deposed former leader Robert Mugabe an eye-watering exit package which includes benefits commensurate with those of a sitting head of State.

President Mnangagwa did not give a speech at the inauguration of his deputies, but told journalists that the responsibility of his deputies would be "to drive the ministers".

The operation, said to be targeting criminals around Mugabe, has so far claimed the scalps of former Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo, Former Agriculture Minister, Joseph Made, and former Mines Minister Walter Chidhakwa among others, all linked to the deposed G40 faction.

He has not been seen in public in Zimbabwe since his resignation.

It started on November 13, two days before the army was deployed onto the streets, when Chiwenga went on state television to make a rare statement on behalf of the country's military.

Surrounded by defence chiefs, Chiwenga called on the ruling party officials to "stop reckless utterances. denigrating the military".

Kembo Mohadi, a veteran politician and long-serving state security minister, was also sworn-in on Thursday as the second vice president to Mnangagwa.

Mugabe will also be entitled to a landline telephone, a cellphone, two computers and "such other office equipment and materials as may be determined by the president".

Another senior military officer Lieutenant-General Engelbert Rugeje was early this month appointed ZANU-PF national political commissar, a powerful position equivalent to organising secretary.

Yesterday the chief of the armed forces who led the military takeover was...