Zimbabwe’s new leader appoints Cabinet; ruling party favored
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe’s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa has appointed a new Cabinet that includes ruling party loyalists as well as figures linked to the military, whose takeover helped oust former leader Robert Mugabe.
No opposition politicians are included in the list, which has been seen as the first test of whether Mnangwgwa, a longtime Mugabe ally, would move out of his shadow.
The 22-member Cabinet announced late Thursday on state-run television includes Maj. Gen. Sibusiso Moyo as foreign minister, Air Marshal Perrance Shiri as agriculture minister and Chris Mutsvangwa, leader of Zimbabwe’s war veterans, as information minister.
Moyo on Nov. 15 announced the military takeover that put Mugabe under house arrest and set in motion a national clamor leading to the former president’s resignation after 37 years in power.
Mugabe quit Nov. 21 amid impeachment proceedings. The ruling ZANU-PF party replaced him with Mnangagwa, who was fired weeks ago as one of the country’s vice presidents.
The list of Cabinet picks makes no mention of vice presidents.
For some Zimbabweans who had hoped that the new leader would make the Cabinet more inclusive, Thursday night’s announcement was seen as a disappointment.
Lawyer Alex Magaisa tweeted a photo of Mugabe and his wife, Grace, laughing with the words “When they saw the new Cabinet.” Former finance minister Tendai Biti tweeted: “The honey moon is over even before it had begun. What a shame. What a missed opportunity.”
In an interview earlier with The Associated Press, main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said Mnangagwa has a “very small window” to show that he is different from Mugabe and that he is meeting national expectations of change. Tsvangirai added that there has been “no dialogue” with the new leadership.
Associated Press writer Christopher Torchia in Harare contributed.