HARARE – The former head of Zimbabwe’s army on Saturday was appointed as the ruling party’s vice president.
Constantino Chiwenga is regarded as the mastermind of the military takeover that ended former President Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule.
Chiwenga resigned from his position as head of the army days after Mugabe stepped down as president on Nov. 6, which paved the way for the ex-vice president under Mugabe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, to take the helm of the country.
The minister of defense and war veterans, Kembo Mohadi, was also appointed as the second vice president of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front, according to state-run ZBC TV.
Both Mohadi and Chiwenga are expected to be named as governmental vice presidents, according to local media.
General Vaerio Sibanda was appointed as army commander on Dec 18.
Mnangagwa was sworn in as the country’s president on Nov. 24, succeeding Mugabe, who resigned under pressure from the army, protesters and the ruling party.
Tensions erupted in Zimbabwe when Mugabe fired Mnangagwa in an apparent bid to clear the path for Mugabe’s wife, Grace, to take the reins of power in Zimbabwe.
Mnangagwa, a war veteran and a powerful figure within the ZANU-PF, had been seen as the most likely successor to Mugabe, who ascended to power in 1980.