The Daily News suggests that the new Politburo appointments that were made by president Mnangagwa were meant to elevate his allies at the expense of those of vice president Constantino Chiwenga.
The new appointees are as follows:
- Victor Matemadanda – Secretary for the Commissariat
- Douglas Mahiya – Secretary for War Veterans
- Headman Moyo – Deputy secretary of War Veterans
- Zenzo Ncube – Deputy Director for War Veterans Affairs
- Patrick Chinamasa – Air Zimbabwe board chairman
The “trusted lieutenant” Victor Matemadanda was replacing Engelbert Rugeje. The Dailly News further describes the changes as surprising and Mnangagwa’s elaborate plan to dilute the military’s influence in the ruling party and government.
However, Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu said there was nothing sinister about Rugeje’s “re-assignment”. He said:
The changes are meant to strengthen the party.
Rugeje is one of those believed to be topping the list of Chiwenga allies who have been removed from positions of influence and reassigned elsewhere. In February this year, Mnangagwa retired four senior army commanders including Major-general Anselem Nhamo Sangatwe whose section is believed to have conducted the August 1, 2018 shootings.
The retired officials have been reassigned to new portfolios completely detached from military operations to diplomatic service. Since coming to power in 2017 and particularly after surviving a bomb attack at a rally in Bulawayo during the run-up to the July 2018 elections, Mnangagwa has made wholesale changes to the police, retiring top cops formerly linked to Mugabe