Zimbabweans woke up to a new reality on Friday that they had been duped.  They woke up to a realization that the new democratic state promised by their new leader and the military they cheered after ousting 93-year old President Mugabe from power was nothing but a façade.

President Robert Mugabe with Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa (L) and Phelekezela Mphoko (C) before the coup on November 14, 2017.

The dream of a new Zimbabwe has turned into a nightmare with the country having quickly transitioned from a democracy to an official military dictatorship over night.

By appointing high ranking military figures to strategic positions in government, Emmerson Mnangagwa through his cabinet selection inadvertently announced to the whole world his idea of a New Zimbabwe: a military state governed by a military junta disguised as democratic.

Zimbabweans were deceived to support a military dictatorship disguised as democratic.

His choice of cabinet picks also indicates that loyalty trumps any qualification or experience, particularly with the appointment of  the War Veterans.  Mnangagwa also reinstated the tired, recycled political relics and ZANU (PF) party fossils who were fired by President Mugabe from his cabinet after years of feeding from the public trough. Such is the decadent composition of the the Mnangagwa-Chiwenga cabal.

Personal friends and allies outside government were also rewarded with ministerial positions for their loyalty and “support” in the military coup disguised as democratic. A new brand of nepotism appears to be the new and only game in town.

Top Military Brass Appointments

Major General Sibusiso Moyo who became the face of the military coup and who deceived Zimbabweans has been awarded with a ministerial job.

Major General Sibusiso Moyo the man who became the face of the military coup on November 15 and who misled the nation and the world on the intent and purpose of the military coup, was awarded with the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs for his support.

Gen. Moyo who was once a leader of a Zimbabwean elite military unit known as the ‘Green Berets Squad’, duped and deceived an entire nation about the military’s motive.  Furthermore, he deliberately lied during a military statement broadcast live on national television.

Apparently, Moyo claimed that the coup was “not a military takeover of government” but rather, a “military intervention targeting criminals around him [President Mugabe])”.  In realty, the entire operation by the military had been an illegal usurpation of power and “takeover of government” hiding behind an organized grassroots uprising.

The appointment of long-time serving Air Force Commander of the Zimbabwe Airforce, Air Marshal Perence Shiri to the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement has also raised concerns globally, particularly with the message that is emanating from Harare.  For a country that desperately needs assistance and reengagement with the international community on massive financial support to resuscitate its economy, militarizing the state and ceding control of major sectors to a military junta is not a smart thing to do.

Air Marshal Perence Shiri of the Zimbabwe Air Force was awarded a ministerial position.

Of the most controversial appointments is that of War Veteran leader Christopher Mutsvangwa to Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting.  Mutsvangwa is the man who mobilized protests which were an important requirement needed to legitimize the military coup and illegal usurpation of power.  Protesters on the other hand were oblivious to the fact that they had been pawns of the Mnangagwa-Chiwenga cabal to illegally usurp power and officially turn a once democratic state into a military one run by securocrats.

These organized protests were later presented to the world as popular grassroots uprising against President Mugabe and thereby used as justification for the military intervention.

Placing a militaristic War Veteran well-versed in underground guerilla tactics and subversion is a symbolic statement on its own. It signifies the death of free speech, diversity of thought including stifling popular dissent and freedom of assembly – all democratic principles which Mutsvangwa himself took advantage of and benefited from their use to get to where he is.  It also signifies a new era of media control and censorship ahead of the upcoming general election next year.

War Veterans leader Christopher Mutsvangwa and wife Monica Mutsvangwa awarded with ministerial positions. Manyika Review

Cde. Mutsvangwa’s wife, Monica Mutsvangwa has also been appointed Minister of State for Manicaland.

Comrade Ziyambi Ziyambi’s appointment to the portfolio of Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs has its own controversies as well in addition to violating multiple statues.  Ziyambi who is also the husband of Florence Ziyambi, the Deputy Prosecutor General of Zimbabwe, will be his wife’s boss and she the subordinate, an awkward setting that gives new meaning to the term “Kitchen Cabinet” not to mention the glaring conflicts of interest.

Former Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa reinstated to his old post.

Former Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa who was fired by President Robert Mugabe for his chequered record was also reappointed and reassigned to his previous position.  Meanwhile, the controversial,  very wealthy former Minister Obert Mpofu was appointed as the Minister of Home Affairs and Culture.

ZANU (PF)’s ‘Young Turks’

Absent from the list of 22 new cabinet appointees are members of the other faction of the (now former) ruling party, ZANU (PF)’s own Young Turks, otherwise known as G40.  These are the reformists, the future of ZANU (PF) who have been critical of the firm grip on the party by the “old guard” and party stalwarts.  What these G40 ‘Young Turks’ have been advocating for is a change in the party structure and culture including a revamp of old ideas to align with the current changing environment.  Such a stark omission is not a good sign.

Opposition Parties

The non-inclusion of the opposition MDC party was expected and is not a surprise to many Zimbabweans.  The once powerful opposition political party that has since defragmented into countless factions is now a shadow of its former self.  In addition to losing its relevance, the party’s political fortunes have long since diminished.  To many observers, the fractured party now exists to make sporadic opportunistic appearances and political statements whenever a situation arises, one they deem they can exploit and could be politically beneficial to them.

As for other opposition parties, they are somewhat inconsequential, unknowns and are still yet to make political inroads by defining who they are, what they stand for and what their agenda is.

For whatever it’s worth, the Mnangagwa-Chiwenga cabal’s new cabinet list reads like a reunion of the ‘Gandanga’ Old Boys Club that is politically out of touch.  You couldn’t make this up!


The reaction to the appointment of high ranking military officials into strategic government portfolios was swift, drawing both condemnation and ridicule across the board, within Zim and outside.

“Even #Nigeria didn’t have so much commanders in Cabinet in its coup days!” tweeted former Information Minister Jonathan Moyo.

Former MDC member and now leader of another splinter group expressed the disappoint felt by many Zimbabweans whose hopes of a new Zimbabwe have been dashed,

“Up until now, we had given the putsch the benefit of the doubt.  We did so in the genuine, perhaps naïve view that the country could actually move forward.  We craved change, peace & stability in our country.  How wrong we were.”

The ouster of President Robert Mugabe ended ZANU (PF) as a party that day and what has replaced it is the Zimbabwe Defence Force (ZDF) Party disguised as democracy and is now governing Zimbabwe.

in the meantime, people are waiting to hear another major the appointment of Zimbabwe Defence Forces chief, General Constantino Chiwenga, to the position of Vice President.  This is undoubtedly a reward for the role he played in the planning and execution of the coup that eventually deposed the 93-year old President Mugabe from office after 37 years in power.

Emmerson Mnangagwa was propelled into power and sworn into office on November 24, a week after a military coup forced President Robert Mugabe to step down.

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