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Zimbabwe’s Mnangagwa appoints new Finance Minister

Mthuli Ncube
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Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday appointed former banker Mthuli Ncube as Finance Minister and said Winston Chitando would remain as Mines Minister.

The two technocrats are expected to lead plans for the country’s economic recovery.

Mnangagwa won a disputed vote on July 30, the first election in the Southern African nation since Robert Mugabe was removed by the army last November after nearly four decades in power.

The 75-year-old leader is under pressure to rebuild an economy afflicted by acute dollar shortages that have hobbled some imports, and by unemployment above 80% and lack of foreign investment.

In appointing Ncube, Mnangagwa wants to show the international community that he is giving priority to the economy and moving away from the Mugabe years where important cabinet posts were given along patronage lines.

Ncube is a former chief economist and Vice President at the African Development Bank (AFDB) and was also a lecturer in finance at the London School of Economics and Wits Business School in South Africa.

Chitando, a former managing director and chairman at the Impala Platinum and Sibanye-Stillwater joint venture platinum miner Mimosa, was favourite to be retained to the mines ministry, to which he was first appointed in November 2017.

Mining generates more than half of Zimbabwe’s foreign export earnings and Mnangagwa has said the sector, which is attracting investors in lithium mining, will anchor future economic growth.

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