PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has appointed former army commander, retired General Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi as his Zanu PF deputies.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
The next step would be for Mnangagwa to appoint the two as state vice-presidents in the coming few days. Chiwenga and Mohadi are long-time allies of the president and their appointment did not come as a surprise.
Chiwenga, who stepped down as commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) last week, led the military takeover of government that forced former president Robert Mugabe to resign in a huff on November 21.
Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba announced the appointment of the VPs in a statement yesterday. Chiwenga represents the old Zanu PF in the presidium while Mohadi is from the PF Zapu side.
Mohadi is also the Defence, Security and War Veterans minister.
According to well-placed sources, Mnangagwa had a torrid time picking his deputy from the Zapu side so as to satisfy the requirements of the Unity Accord signed in 1987 to end the Gukurahundi massacres.
“For Chiwenga, it was relatively easy. The president was actually in a fix in picking the one from Matabeleland region and several groups of people including the chiefs, war veterans, political leadership and the State Security department had to make their recommendations,” a source said.
“Initially, there was a pool of five people who are the party’s secretary for administration Obert Mpofu, spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo, Mohadi, Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda and Tshinga Dube.
“Mudenda and Mpofu, who hold powerful positions, were dropped from the list because there was fear that their positions might be filled by other people from other regions.
“It’s a game of consolidating power as well for the region, hence their names were dropped.”
The source said Dube was also removed on health grounds. SK Moyo was eliminated from the race because of his history of being caught up in the wrong end of Zanu PF factional wars.
“He has been with [Joice] Mujuru before and was pardoned,” the source said.
“He then went onto the G40 side and was very active pushing out statements against Mnangagwa in the last days of former president Robert Mugabe’s rule.
“For that reason, he was disqualified.”
Mohadi became a butt of jokes early this year after he appeared on television receiving a prophecy about his ascendancy by South Africa-based Malawian born prophet Shepherd Bushiri .
He is likely to find it difficult exerting influence in the Matabeleland region where he is considered to be heavy-handed.
“Representatives coming from the political side and war veterans went to the extent of finding audience with the president last week to express their concern about Mohadi,” another source added.
“Firstly, they raised concern that he is greedy and that he is heavy-handed.
“The part of greediness was coming from his alleged farm grabs.
“The CIO was sent to check on his popularity but even though he came well in those rankings, those two elements popped up.
“Before making the decision, the president had widely consulted.”
Charamba confirmed to The Standard that Mnangagwa delayed appointing his deputies to allow for wide consultations in Matabeleland.