December 27, 2017 / 2:08 PM / in 2 months

Ex-army boss to be sworn in as Zimbabwe vice president on Thursday

HARARE (Reuters) - Retired army chief Constantino Chiwenga and veteran politician Kembo Mohadi will be sworn in as Zimbabwe’s vice presidents on Thursday, state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation said on Wednesday.

The pair, appointed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, were elevated to similar positions in the ruling ZANU-PF party on Saturday.

Chiwenga retired from the military this month. His appointment was expected as a reward for leading a de facto coup in November that ended Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule and brought Mnangagwa to power.

It also adds to signs of a consolidation of power for the army since it turned against the 93-year-old Mugabe. Mnangagwa has appointed several senior military officers to his cabinet and the ruling party’s top decision-making body, the Politburo.

Mnangagwa is under pressure from opposition parties and the public to implement political reforms.

Reporting by Alfonce Mbizwo; Editing by Ed Stoddard and John Stonestreet

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