Zimbabwe’s newly appointed cabinet ministers were sworn in on Monday amid criticism over the controversial appointment of senior military officials to top posts.
In what was widely seen as a reward for the army’s role in the removal of his predecessor, the new President Emmerson Mnangagwa brought back Patrick Chinamasa as finance minister, despite his previously chequered record.
Major-General Sibusiso Moyo was made foreign minister, and Air Marshal Perrance Shiri was handed the sensitive land portfolio.
I Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe do hereby call upon you all to take oaths as prescribed by law.
“I Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe do hereby call upon you all to take oaths as prescribed by law,” said President Mnangagwa.
Most Zimbabweans remember Moyo as the khaki-clad general who went on state television in the early hours of November 15 to announce the military takeover that ended Mugabe’s 37-year rule.
Shiri is feared and loathed by many Zimbabweans as the former commander of the North Korean-trained ’5 Brigade’ that played a central role in the so-called Gukurahundi massacres in Matabeleland in 1983 in which an estimated 20,000 people were killed.
Sworn in as president a week ago after 93-year-old Mugabe quit in the wake of a de facto military coup, Mnangagwa, a former state security chief known as ‘The Crocodile’, dropped allies of Mugabe’s wife, Grace.
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But brought back many Mugabe loyalists from the ruling ZANU-PF party, disappointing those who had been expecting a break with the past.