Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter—
President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday appointed new members of the Politburo, with Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri assuming the position of the party’s national chairperson. Cde Muchinguri-Kashiri was secretary for Transport and has been replaced by Cde July Moyo. Closing the Zanu-PF Extraordinary Congress in Harare yesterday, Zanu-PF First Secretary and President Cde Mnangagwa said he would fill the remaining vacant Politburo posts in the next few days.
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The vacant positions include the position of party Second Secretaries and Vice Presidents. Cde Obert Mpofu, who was the Finance Secretary, was elevated to the position of Secretary for Administration — a position that was held by Dr Ignatius Chombo — who was expelled from the ruling party. The finance portfolio left by Cde Mpofu was filled by Cde Patrick Chinamasa, who was the Legal Affairs secretary.
President Mnangagwa appointed Major-General Engelbert Rugeje as Zanu-PF national commissar, while Cde Omega Hungwe, who was the deputy national commissar, retained her post. Cde Paul Mangwana, was appointed secretary for Legal Affairs, while Ambassador Chris Mutsvangwa was elevated to the position of secretary for Science and Technology. Cde Mutsvangwa’s new post fell vacant following the expulsion of Professor Jonathan Moyo, who is now a fugitive from justice.
President Mnangagwa joked that Cde Mutsvangwa was taking over from his (Cde Mutsvangwa’s) “friend’’. Cde Mutsvangwa and Prof Moyo did not see eye-to-eye. Prof Moyo worked for the destruction of Zanu-PF from within, while Cde Mutsvangwa viciously defended the revolution. Cde Victor Matemadanda is the new secretary for War Veterans, Detainees and Restrictees, taking over from Cde Sydney Sekeramayi, while Cde Pupurai Togarepi has been reinstated as secretary for Youth Affairs.
Cde Togarepi took over from Mr Kudzanai Chipanga, who was expelled from Zanu-PF for his close links with the G40 cabal. Cde Mabel Chinomona was appointed secretary for Women’s Affairs, a position that fell vacant following the expulsion of former First Lady Grace Mugabe, who was at the helm of the women’s wing since the last Congress in 2014.
President Mnangagwa retained Cde Joshua Malinga as the Secretary for the Welfare of the Disabled and the Disadvantaged, while Cde Munyaradzi Machacha was appointed principal of the Chitepo Ideological College and will sit in the Politburo. Cde Lovemore Matuke was appointed the new Secretary for national security, taking over from his former boss Cde Kembo Mohadi.
Air Marshal Perrance Shiri and Major General Subusiso B. Moyo were elevated into the Politburo as Committee members. President Mnangagwa retained Cdes Jorum Gumbo as Secretary for Education. Cdes Cleveria Chizema and Josiah Hungwe were also retained in the Politburo. Cdes Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and Simon Khaya Moyo kept their positions as Secretary for External Affairs and Secretary for Information and Publicity, respectively.
There were no changes as well on Cdes Sithembiso Nyoni and Mike Bimha who remained as the Secretary for Business Development and Liaison and Economic Affairs, respectively. Cde Cain Mathema also retained his position as Secretary for Land and Resettlement, while Cde Prisca Mupfumira remained as the Secretary for Environment and is deputised by Cde Auxilia Mnangagwa.
Before announcing the Politburo appointments, President Mnangagwa said: “Let us be mindful that Zanu-PF is not the party of its leader, but the party of its members, a party for us all. As your President and First Secretary, I am the first among equals, but equals we are.
“Each individual cadre is essential and each individual cadre will help shape our destiny. We are bound and interwoven inextricably by the threads of our party constitution, by individual and collective duties therein stated. Let us vow from today, to uphold, respect and defend our party constitution for it binds us, unites us and defines us. Let us protect it at all costs.
“As we part ways, I want to assure you that the party and Government will continue with serious introspection as we chart a better course for us all, for now and posterity. I stated in my inauguration speech to the State Presidency and as reflected in the 2018 National Budget Statement, the task at hand is that of rebuilding our great country. Government will leave no stone unturned to fully exploit the country’s rich resource base for the benefit of all people, and to improve the livelihoods of all who consider Zimbabwe home.”