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Ex-army boss to be sworn in as Zimbabwe vice president on Thursday

PUBLISHED: Wed, 27 Dec 2017 20:23:09 GMT

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Retired army chief Constantino Chiwenga and veteran politician Kembo Mohadi will be sworn in as Zimbabwe’s vice presidents on Thursday, state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation said on Wednesday.

Zimbabwe Army General Constantino Chiwenga Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces addresses a media conference held at the Zimbabwean Army Headquarters on November 13, 2017 in Harare.
Zimbabwe’s army chief on November 13 demanded a “stop” to the purge in the ruling ZANU-PF party after the sacking of vice president Emmerson Mnangangwa, and warned the military could intervene. / AFP PHOTO / Jekesai NJIKIZANA (Photo credit should read JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images)

The pair, appointed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, were elevated to similar positions in the ruling ZANU-PF party on Saturday.

Chiwenga retired from the military this month. His appointment was expected as a reward for leading a de facto coup in November that ended Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule and brought Mnangagwa to power.

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It also adds to signs of a consolidation of power for the army since it turned against the 93-year-old Mugabe. Mnangagwa has appointed several senior military officers to his cabinet and the ruling party’s top decision-making body, the Politburo.

Mnangagwa is under pressure from opposition parties and the public to implement political reforms.

Reporting by Alfonce Mbizwo; Editing by Ed Stoddard and John Stonestreet