President Robert Mugabe has officially announced the appointment of former Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and career diplomat Phelekezela Mphoko as Zimbabwe’s new vice presidents following the sacking of his deputy, who was accused of allegedly attempting to topple him.
In a statement last night, the president’s office said the appointments, together with those of several ministers, was made in accordance with the country’s new constitution.
The statement in possession of VOA Studio 7 read in part, “…. Following the relieving of former Vice President Hon. Joice T. R. Mujuru MP, 7 ministers and one deputy minister of their posts, His Excellency the President, Cde R.G Mugabe, in terms of paragraph 14(2) of the 6th Schedule of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) of 2013, has appointed Honourable Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa and Honourable Ambassador Phelekezela Mphoko as vice presidents.”
The president said in the statement, “over and above their new responsibilities, the two vice presidents will have some specific responsibilities.
Mr. Mugabe, who appointed the two as Zanu PF’s vice presidents Wedneday, said Mnangagwa will continue as Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliament Affairs while Mphoko will be responsible for the promotion of national healing, peace and reconciliation.
Mr. Mugabe made it clear on Wednesday that the two will be ceremonial vice presidents as he will give them specific assignments from time to time.
The president also appointed several ministers and deputies in accordance with Section 104 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Amendment Number 20 of 2013.
There are no surprises in the new-look cabinet set to be sworn-in Friday as almost all the current ministers will be retained.
The women’s affairs portfolio has been left vacant with indications that former liberation icon, Herbert Chitepo's wife, Victoria, was dropped in the last minute due to old age.
Indications are that it may be filled by the president’s wife, Grace Mugabe. She is expected to take over the Ministry of Women’s Affairs from Oppah Muchinguri, who is now the new minister of education.
Former Deputy Information Minister, Supa Mandiwanzira, is expected to be the new Minister of Information Communication Technology, Samuel Undenge (Energy), Oppah Muchinguri (High Education), Simon Khaya Moyo (Economic Planning), Chris Mushowe (Youth and Indigenization), Mandy Chimhene (Provincial Affairs, Manicaland), Joel Biggie Matiza (Provincial Affairs, Mashonaland East), Prisca Mupfumira (Public Service), Chris Mutsvangwa (War Veterans) and his wife Monica Mutsvangwa (Deputy Minister of Information) and Tsitsi Muzenda (Deputy Minister of Energy).
Former ministers who were linked to Mrs. Mujuru – Dzikamai Mavhaire, Francis Nhema, Webster Shamu, Nicholas Goche, Didymus Mutasa, Simba Mudarikwa, Olivia Muchena and Munacho Mutezo – have been dropped by the president.