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Zimbabwe cabinet lineup dents hopes of change

Friday, December 01, 2017 - 01:31

Zimbabwe's new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, names a host of military figures and Mugabe-era politicians to his new cabinet, worrying some who had hoped for a clean break with the past. David Doyle reports.

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Zimbabwe's new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, named his cabinet on Friday (December 1). (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT OF ZIMBABWE, EMMERSON MNANGAGWA, SAYING: "A new beginning." A collection of military figures and Mugabe-era politicans that could disappoint Zimbabweans who had been expecting a broad-based government and a break with the past. Patrick Chinamasa named as finance minister. That's one of several ministerial positions he occupied under ousted President Robert Mugabe. His role will be in the spotlight as Mnangagwa is under pressure to deliver an economic turnaround. Zimbabwe in the grip of severe foreign currency shortages that have seen banks unable to give customers cash. Two military figures have also been given top jobs: Major General Sibusiso Moyo becomes foreign minister and Air Marshal Perrance Shiri land minister. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MAJOR GENERAL SIBUSISO MOYO, SAYING: "As soon as we have accomplished our mission." Moyo was the military spokesman who went on television to confirm that the military had taken power last month. And Shiri was in charge of the North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade when, in 1983, it carried out the so-called Gukurahundi massacres in Matabeleland. An estimated 20,000 people were killed in that crackdown on Mugabe's opponents. Mnangagwa himself was in charge of internal security at the time but has denied any part in the atrocities. Nevertheless, there will be speculation over whether this new government represents the much-hoped for change, or more of the same.

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Zimbabwe cabinet lineup dents hopes of change

Friday, December 01, 2017 - 01:31