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Zimbabwe's President Mnangagwa Criticized for Appointing Son, Nephew to Cabinet

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa is under scrutiny following the appointment of his son, David Kudakwashe Mnangagwa, and nephew, Tongai Mafidhi Mnangagwa, as deputy finance minister and deputy minister of tourism and hospitality, respectively. This comes hot off the heels of President Mnangagwa's re-election and the inauguration of a new 26-ministry cabinet.

Mnangagwa the younger, 34, will assist Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube, while his cousin Tongai aids the tourism and hospitality sector. Critics, including lawmaker Fadzayi Mahere of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), has lambasted the President's cabinet appointments as "indefensible," expressing alarm over nepotism, legitimacy, corruption, violence, incompetence, and ethical issues in the government.

This new cabinet also brings forth power couple Christopher and Monica Mutsvangwa, appointed ministers of a newly established department, Veterans of Liberation, and Women's Affairs and SMEs, respectively. Christopher Mnangagwa and Tongai Mnangagwa entered politics through Zanu PF party; the former is a lawyer and Midlands province representative, the latter represents the Hunyani constituency.

Reports further indicate that President Mnangagwa is contemplating an official position for another son, Emmerson Junior. This strategy is seen as a continuation of 'dynastic politics,' which is under increased debate in Africa. Other African leaders, including the Presidents of Congo-Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Rwanda, have all appointed close family members to top government positions.

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