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Zimbabwe's Mugabe Names New Finance Minister Amid Currency Crunch

11 October 2017

Zimbabwe's Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa offered a humbled acceptance of his recent ouster as Minister of Justice in a cabinet reshuffle, saying it's President Robert Mugabe's discretion to pick and drop cabinet members.

Chinamasa was appointed finance minister in 2013 after Mugabe was re-elected and his move to head a newly created ministry of cybersecurity, threat detection and mitigation was unexpected.

The changes were announced as Chinamasa and Mupfumira were reportedly out of the country on government business.

Reports say Grace Mugabe departed from a prepared speech at an event in Harare to attack Mr Mnangagwa. Last week, she claimed that sections of the military loyal to the VP were threatening a coup if he is not allowed to succeed the president.

While the President said the reshuffle was meant to layoff non-performing ministers, many belief the internecine factional fights within his party are the main reason for the reshuffle.

President Robert Mugabe kisses first lady Grace Mugabe during Zimbabwe's 37th Independence Day celebrations in April. The new Minister of Tourism, Environment and Hospitality Services, Edgar Mbwembwe who was Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs said he has an important task to ensure that the tourism sector continues to soar to greater heights as one of Zimbabwe's foreign currency earners.

Mrs Mugabe herself and Mr Mnangagwa are the front-runners and their rivalry has split the governing Zanu-PF.

In August, Mr Mnangagwa was airlifted to South Africa after he suffered a bout of vomiting and diarrhoea during a rally addressed by the president, sparking claims from his supporters that he was poisoned.

The paper castigated ministers for "squabbling" as in-fighting intensifies between rivals competing to succeed Mugabe, who has ruled since 1980 and is in increasingly frail health.

The long-serving Zimbabwean ruler has already been endorsed to represent the ruling Zanu-PF party in next year's elections where he will face his former deputy Joice Mujuru and Mr Tsvangirai.

Zimbabwe's Mugabe Names New Finance Minister Amid Currency Crunch