Constantino Chiwenga (left), Emmerson Mnangagwa (centre) and Kembo Mohadi (right) in December 2017. (Photo by Wilfred Kajese / AFP)
- Kembo Mohadi returns to join Constantino Chiwenga as Zimbabwe’s vice-presidents.
- Both served in the role before – until Mohadi left under a cloud.
- The opposition CCC refused to take part in the election of Jacob Mudenga as the Speaker of Parliament.
Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa retained two vice-presidents from his first term, as well as the Speaker of Parliament, ahead of what is expected to be a Cabinet featuring numerous old faces.
Vice-President (VP) Constantino Chiwenga, the retired army general who led the putsch to oust the late Robert Mugabe, and his colleague, Kembo Mohadi, are the two VPs back at work.
While Chiwenga, 67, went the distance in the first term, Mohadi, 73, resigned in 2021 after a scandal exposed his links to a series of women.
In his resignation letter, he said he was taking time to rest, and it was “not as a matter of cowardice, but as a sign of demonstrating great respect to the office of the president”.
He vowed to clear his name one day.
When he was outside government, a position in Zanu-PF was created for him, and he became the party’s Second Secretary, where he enjoyed the same benefits as a vice-president.
Mnangagwa is the First Secretary.
The three in the presidium are the most senior Zanu-PF members from the War of Independence era, with Mohadi representing the interests of PF Zapu, which joined Zanu to form Zanu-PF in 1987, with the signing of the Unity Accord.
Chiwenga, touted to be a likely successor to Mnangagwa, told journalists after being sworn in that he was ready to work towards the president’s vision.
“We are starting with zeal, energy and strength to build the Zimbabwe we want. We are pursuing our president’s pronounced vision of building an upper middle-income society by 2030,” he said.
Jacob Mudenda was re-elected unopposed to become the Speaker of Parliament for a second term. His deputy is Tsitsi Gezi.
The opposition, Citizens Coalition For Change (CCC), did not turn up for the election of the Speaker and deputy, suggesting a Parliament that will be highly polarised.
In a statement on Twitter.com, Parliament said: “Zanu-PF has turned up in numbers ahead of today’s elections of presiding officers. Contrary to this, the Opposition CCC has absconded from today’s election.”
Going into the 10th Parliament, Zanu-PF will seek to push through outstanding legislation, such as the Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill for civil society organisations.
Critics say the bill will give the Presidency “disproportionate and discretionary powers” through the Registrar’s Office to muzzle civic society through deregistering NGOs that are in democratic and human rights spaces.
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