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Zimbabwe’s new president Mnangagwa dissolves Mugabe cabinet

Emmerson Mnangagwa has appointed Patrick Chinamasa as acting finance minister. File photo.

ZIMBABWE–Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has dissolved the cabinet of his predecessor Robert Mugabe, three days after assuming office following the military take over of government, a senior government official said Monday.

Mnangagwa “is in the process of putting together a new team of cabinet ministers,” Misheck Sibanda, the chief secretary to the president and cabinet, said in a statement.

Sibanda added that Mnangagwa has appointed Patrick Chinamasa as acting finance minister and Simbarashe Mumbengegwi as acting top diplomat “to allow uninterrupted services in critical ministries of government.”

The statement did not indicate when Mnangagwa will announce his new cabinet. Mnangagwa, 75, was sworn in on Friday following dramatic events in the southern African country after the military took over saying they wanted to arrest criminals in government around 93-year-old Mugabe.

His tenure withstood repeated claims of hanging on to power through brutal repression of dissent, election rigging and corruption, until concerted pressure from the military finally forced to quit.

Parliament had begun proceedings to impeach Mugabe for allowing his wife and a coterie of followers to “capture” the ruling party.

Now the new president has vowed sweeping changes in government and new policies to attract investment and revive the ailing economy.

At the same time, Zimbabwe has bestowed a new honour on Mugabe, who had ruled the country since independence from Britain in 1980, by declaring his birthday, February 21, a public holiday, a state newspaper reported Monday.

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