04:37 GMT11 August 2020
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    Despite promising a "new destiny" for Zimbabwe, the country's new president appointed a number of prominent Mugabe-era generals to his Cabinet as a reward for their support of the recent military coup.

    Emmerson Mnangagwa, nicknamed "the Crocodile" for his ruthless political career, was sworn in as the country's leader last week after taking over from Zimbabwe's long-serving leader Robert Mugabe.

    Mugabe, who ruled Zimbabwe for some 37 years, had to resign, following the military coup that was allegedly orchestrated by Mnangagwa as retaliation for being dismissed as Mugabe's Vice-President in early November.

    Now, as Mnangagwa settles in his predecessor's office, it is time for the military to reap the rewards for its support of the coup.

    Amongst the appointees to the new Zimbabwean Government, one cannot help but notice a pronounced number of the country's military leaders.

    For instance, General Sibusiso Moyo, who appeared on Zimbabwe's state TV first to deny the military coup and then to announce Mugabe's dismissal, has become the country's Foreign Minister.

    Similarly, General Perence Shiri, the head of Zimbabwe's Air Force, received the lucrative post of Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs.

    Perence Shiri was highly decorated under Mugabe for spearheading the military operation against the then-Prime Minister's opponents in the early 1980s that reportedly resulted in some 20,000 civilian deaths.

    READ MORE: Zimbabwe: Mugabe Claims 'Legitimacy,' Army, Opposition Insist on Transition

    Finally, Christopher Mutsvangwa, the head of Zimbabwe's influential National Liberation War Veterans Association, which actively supported the military coup by staging large demonstrations, was appointed as the Minister of Information.

    The move upset a number of opposition leaders in Zimbabwe, who hoped that with Mugabe out of the picture, Zimbabwe would pursue a new political course.

    Tendai Biti, the leader of the opposition People's Democratic Party and a former finance minister, said that the Zimbabwean people were "wrong" to think that.

     "The honeymoon is over even before it had begun," Biti said on Twitter.

    "What a shame. What a missed opportunity."

    Similarly, Eldred Masunungure, a political science professor at the University of Zimbabwe, claimed that the change in political direction is unlikely under Mnangagwa, whose new Cabinet features "the same tired faces being recycled."

    "We had high expectations, but what we see is a ‘thank you' cabinet — thanking the people that may have contributed in various ways to his ascendancy," he told Bloomberg.

    The disappointed commentators took to Twitter to voice their views.


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    appointment, coup, government, Cabinet, military, Zimbabwe coup, ZANU-PF, Zimbabwe Defense Forces (ZDF), Robert Mugabe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, Africa, Zimbabwe
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