Zimbabwean President Mnangagwa Dashes Hopes of Democracy

Emmerson Mnangagwa, the new Zimbabwean President in November, 2017 Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Emmerson Mnangagwa, the new Zimbabwean President in November, 2017 Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Zimbabwe’s new leader Emmerson Mnangagwa has announced the names of his cabinet members. The new President Mnangagwa has appointed several military figures in key high-profile positions.

Mnangagwa’s move to appoint the army officials in important ministerial posts has braced heavy criticism.

Zimbabwean political analysts have warned that the President’s move might dash hopes of change and reform in the country after a long tenure of Mugabe dictatorship.

Mr. Mugabe has been in power of Zimbabwe for nearly four decades with the help of the Country’s military.

The ouster of Mugabe prompted by the military had bred a hope that democracy would return to Zimbabwe. After Mnangagwa took the power of Zimbabwe, many hoped that he would seek a transitional government constituted of the opposition leaders to lead the country to democracy.

Mnangagwa appointing the military figures in key ministerial positions is likely to erode the hope of a democratic Zimbabwe.

The government critic Tendai Biti, as quoted by BBC, said the Zimbabweans were wrong to hope for democracy after the current president came in.

“Up until now, we had given the putsch the benefit of the doubt. We did so in the genuine, perhaps naive view that the country could actually move forward. We craved change, peace & stability in our country. How wrong we were,” he said.

The military faces of the new cabinet

The general who happened to appear as the face of the army during the military takeover of the government, Sibusiso Moyo, has been appointed as the foreign minister.

A Ph.D. in International Relations, Mr. Sibusiso Moyo once led the elite force of Zimbabwe known as the “green berets squad”.

Perence Shiri, who is known for his involvement in the 1980s, is the head of Zimbabwean air forces. Mr. Shiri has also been appointed as a cabinet member of Mnangagwa administration.

His fifth-brigade, trained in North Korea, led the operation in the 1980s against the so-called political opponents that resulted in the killing of 20,000 people. President Mnangagwa has appointed Perence Shiri as the Minister of agriculture and land affairs.

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