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Mugabe's Surprise VP Pick Mphoko, A War Veteran, Career Diplomat

  • Thomas Chiripasi

Zanu PF vice president Phelekezela Mphoko.

Zanu PF vice president Phelekezela Mphoko.

A trained agriculturalist, Mphoko is also a former military commander, was in charge of the logistics department of the Zimbabwe People’s Army during the liberation struggle.

The Russian-trained former ZIPRA freedom fighter was part of a five-member ZIPA Command that was a joint operation between Zanla and Zipra forces.

He was Zapu’s representative in Mozambique just before independence in 1980, working during that time with top African National Congress leaders like current South African president Jacob Zuma.

Mphoko also served as Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Botswana and Russia before moving to South Africa where his mission ended in 2011.

Former ZIPRA combatant, Retired Brigadier General Abel Mazinyane, said he worked with Mphoko in the ZIPRA ranks and the Zimbabwe People’s Army in Mozambique.

He said Mphoko also participated in joint operations that were conducted by ZIPRA combatants and Umkhonto Wesizwe of the African National Congress of South Africa during the liberation struggle of the 1970s.

Secretaries of various Politburo portfolios also appointed by Mr. Mugabe are as follows:- secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo, Saviour Kasukuwere (Commissariat), Obert Mpofu (Finance), External Affairs - Simbabrashe Mumbengegwi, National Security - Kembo Mohadi, Transport and Social Welfare - Oppah Muchinguri, Information and Publicity – Simon Khaya Moyo, Legal Affairs - Patrick Chinamasa, Implementation-Economic Empowerment Policy - Mike Bimha, Production and Labour - Josiah D. Hungwe and Health, Child Welfare and Elderly - Cleveria Chizema.

Others are Christopher Mushohwe (Economic Affairs), Women's Affairs - Grace Mugabe, Youth Affairs - Pupurai Togarepi, Education - Joram McDonald Gumbo, Gender and Culture - Thokozile Mathuthu, the Disabled - Joshua Malinga, Land Reform and Resettlement - Cain Mathema, Science and Technology - Jonathan Moyo, Business Development - Sithembiso Nyoni, Environment and Tourism - Prisca Mupfumira and War Veterans - Sydney Sekeramayi.

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