Mnangagwa appoints son, nephew as deputy ministers

David Kudakwashe Mnangagwa
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HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa was accused of nepotism on Monday after naming his son as deputy finance minister in a new cabinet following his controversial re-election.

David Kudakwashe Mnangagwa, 34, will deputise finance minister Mthuli Ncube while the president’s nephew, Tongai Mafidhi Mnangagwa, was named deputy minister of tourism and hospitality.

The cabinet has 26 ministries.

Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) lawmaker Fadzayi Mahere said Mnangagwa’s cabinet was “indefensible.”

“It’s a toxic mix of illegitimacy, corruption, violence, nepotism, incompetence and sex scandals – everything but the ethical leadership Zimbabweans want and deserve. No wonder the national mood is so funereal,” Mahere said.

Mnangagwa also named a husband and wife team – Christopher and Monica Mutsvangwa – as ministers. Mutsvangwa will head a new ministry of Veterans of Liberation while his wife is the new minister of Women’s Affairs and SMEs.

David Mnangagwa, who graduated with a law degree from the University of Zimbabwe last Friday, got into parliament through the youth quota system on a Zanu PF party list from Midlands province. He is one of Mnangagwa’s reported nearly two dozen children.

Tongai, meanwhile, is the Zanu PF MP for Hunyani constituency. His late father, David, was Mnangagwa’s young brother.

ZimLive sources said Monday that Mnangagwa was also considering an official role in his office for another of his sons, Emmerson Junior.

“Emmerson Junior has sat through the president’s meetings with some foreign investors, an awkward arrangement. Mnangagwa now wants to formalise that and Junior will have some official role – an adviser or director,” the source said.

The 80-year-old Mnangagwa was controversially announced winner of elections held on August 23 amid opposition claims that the vote was a “sham”. Now in his second and final term as president, he joins a growing list of African leaders who have created political dynasties.

In Congo-Brazzaville, President Denis Sassou-Nguesso appointed his son Denis-Christel as a cabinet minister, a move that revived media speculation that he has a dynastic succession in mind.

Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang – in power since removing his  uncle Francisco Macías Nguema in 1979 – installed his son Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue as vice president.

In Gabon, recently-ousted President Ali Bongo Ondimba is the son of Omar Bongo, who ruled from 1967 to 2009, while in the Democratic Republic of Congo Joseph Kabila ruled for 17 years after succeeding his assassinated father Laurent-Désiré as head of state in 2001.

Rwandan president Paul Kagame named his daughter Ange Kagame as the deputy executive director of the strategy and policy council in the office of the president. – ZimLive