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Coup leader Chiwenga’s retirement as general sparks wide protest

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has retired Zimbabwe’s coup leader, General Constantino Chiwenga pending ‘redeployment,’ sparking speculation that he will be one of the vice-presidents.

Mnangagwa also retired the head of police, Augustine Chihuri, seen as an ally of former leader, Robert Mugabe.

Chiwenga is the military chief who pulled the trigger on the coup, leading to the downfall of Zimbabwe’s leader of 37 years, Robert Mugabe who was forced to resign when soldiers took over the country, leaving him confined to his private residence.

The coup brought Mnangagwa, who Mugabe had fired on November 6 to spark the coup, back from the cold and was installed as president on November 24, with Chiwenga now expected to be named as one of the two vice-presidents.

ZANU-PF spokesperson, Simon Khaya Moyo last week said the appointment of vice-presidents was Mnangagwa’s prerogative. Mnangagwa has promised to fill the positions in the next few days.

Chiwenga, 61, has served in the armed forces since Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain in 1980. He was among senior government officials placed under sanctions by the United States and European Union although the latter removed him from its list of restricted individuals in 2014.

SOURCE: The Source, Harare

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