The Zimbabwean embassy has welcomed the appointment of the country’s retired military chief Constantino Chiwenga as the one of the two deputy presidents in the governing Zanu-PF party.
He was named as deputy by new President Emmerson Mnangagwa along with state security minister Kembo Mohadi.
They’re expected to become vice-presidents of the country.
Chiwenga retired this week, more than a month after leading the army intervention that forced former president Robert Mugabe to resign.
Zimbabwe’s ambassador to South Africa, Isaac Moyo, explains why they have two deputies.
He says: ‘This captures a part of the history of the country. We had problems emanating from Zapu and Zanu, the two parties that fought the liberation struggle. They signed a unity agreement in 1987 and one of the agreements was that there will always be two deputies. This is also stipulated in the constitution so it is to really foster national cohesion in the country.”
Meanwhile analysts say the elevation of Zimbabwe’s ex-military chief to the vice-presidency is further evidence of the level of influence the army is now gaining in Zimbabwean politics.
A professor at Unisa, Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni, says it was almost a given that Chiwenga would be promoted after he led the military takeover that ousted former president Robert Mugabe last month.
He points out that two other top military officials were also awarded ministerial posts in Mnangawa’s cabinet earlier this month.