Mnangagwa retires ‘pro-Chiwenga’ army generals

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Zimbabwe's former Army commander General Constantine Chiwenga (L) chats with his successor Lieutenant-General Phillip Valerio Sibanda, during the countries 28 years Independence celebration in Harare on April 18, 2008. AFP PHOTO / Alexander JOE (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images)

Harare – President Emmerson Mnangagwa has retired four senior army generals from active service and redeployed them to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The four, include three Major Generals, Martin Chedondo, Douglas Nyikayaramba and Anslem Sanyatwe, as well as Vice Air Marshal Shebba Shumbayawonda.

According to a government statement, the ex-military officers will join the diplomatic service.

Nyikayaramba became famous following the 2008 election, where opposition supporters claimed he had led the military campaign to prevent Morgan Tsvangirai from taking power.

Sanyatwe became famous later last year during the commission of inquiry into deadly post election violence. He had been the tactical commander of an army unit that was accused of killing protesters and civilians.

Zimbabwe’s government is currently on a global re-engagement exercise, and it is expected that the four will be deployed to friendly countries.

A source in government claimed that at least one of the four would be deployed as Zimbabwe’s ambassador to China.

Other analysts who declined to be named, stated that the move to re-deploy these four was meant to weaken Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s vice grip on the army.

Unconfirmed rumours claim there is tension between Chiwenga and Mnangagwa, something which the government rejects.

More to follow…