General who seized power from Mugabe appointed deputy of Zimbabwe’s president

President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe has appointed Constantino Chiwenga, the army chief who led the coup that ended Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule, as one of his two deputies in ZANU-PF, the ruling party.

In a statement on Saturday, George Charamba, presidential press secretary, said Kembo Mohadi, long-serving state security minister, was also appointed as Mnangagwa’s deputy.

The party appointment is the first step in their elevation to state vice-presidents.

Earlier in the month, two other top military officials were awarded ministerial posts.

Chiwenga retired this week, slightly over a month after the military temporarily took control of the country.

The takeover which the army said was targeting Mugabe’s corrupt allies came days after the 93-year-old leader had fired then deputy Mnangagwa who has strong military ties and was widely tipped as the likely successor.

Mugabe’s wife Grace had indicated interest in succeeding her husband.

The army’s intervention was followed by mass street protests against Mugabe and a motion to impeach the veteran ruler who resigned in a letter to parliament as proceedings to recall him began.

The ruling ZANU PF party then appointed Mnangagwa as Mugabe’s replacement, leading to his inauguration as the country’s president on November 24.