Breaking News: Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko named new Zimbabwe Vice presidents
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe appointed Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, Phelekeza Mphoko as vice presidents.
- Mugabe announced changes at ruling party’s headquarters in capital, Harare
- NOTE: Mnangagwa replaces Joice Mujuru who was fired yesterday; Mphoko replaces John Nkomo who died in January last year
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe named Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekeza Mphoko, a former ambassador, as his vice presidents.
The men will be sworn in to office on Dec. 12, Mugabe, 90, told senior officials of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front today in the capital, Harare.
The appointments came a day after Mugabe fired Joice Mujuru as his deputy and several senior cabinet officials to tighten grip over power in the southern African nation. Mujuru, 59, was excluded from top posts of Zanu-PF at its conference last week, after facing public accusations from Mugabe’s wife, Grace, and state-owned media that she was plotting against the president.
Mnangagwa, 68, has served under Mugabe as minister of housing, justice, state security, defense and as speaker of parliament. He was the chief of intelligence when Mugabe ordered the North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade to crack down on rebels in the southwestern region of Matebeleland in the 1980s, resulting in the death of as many as 20,000 civilians from the Ndebele ethnic minority.
Mphoko was a former ambassador to Russia and South Africa and is chairman of retailer Choppies Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe has the world’s second-largest chrome and platinum reserves, as well as gold, diamonds and iron ore. Anglo American Platinum Ltd., Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. and Rio Tinto Plc are among companies mining in the country.
The government is estimating growth of 3.2 percent this year, down from an average annual rate of 7.5 percent from 2009 to 2012, according to the African Development Bank.
At last week’s party congress, Grace Mugabe was appointed secretary of the Zanu-PF Women’s Affairs Department, ensuring her a position on the party’s decision-making politburo.