By Reagan Mashavave
Harare-Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has retired four top military personnel who played key roles in the ouster of long ruling Robert Mugabe and re-assigned them to the diplomatic service, a government statement by the chief secretary to the cabinet said Monday.
Air Vice Marshal Shebba Shumbayaonda
The chief secretary to the president and cabinet, Misheck Sibanda said Major Generals Martin Chedondo, Douglas Nyikayaramba, Anslem Sanyatwe and Air Vice Marshal Shebba Shumbayaonda have been re-assigned to the diplomatic service with immediate effect.
Sibanda did not give details of the immediate roles that the four will take in Foreign Service.
He said Mnangagwa made the changes “in line with government’s critical global engagement and re-engagement strategy.”
Zimbabwe has several former army chiefs serving in government after retiring from the military.
The four officers were part of the command structure of the military led by General Constantino Chiwenga which led a coup that ousted Mugabe in 2017.
Chiwenga is now Zimbabwe’s vice president while other ex-army chiefs, retired Air Marshal Perence Shiri is now serving as agriculture minister while retired Major general Sibusiso Moyo is now the country’s foreign affairs minister.
Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has in the past condemned the deployment of the former top army chiefs into government saying the state is slowly being militarized.
Observers have said the move by Mnangagwa is part of his calculus to outflank internal Zanu PF resistance to his rule and to consolidate power.