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Zimbabwe: President Emmerson Mnangagwa appoints former army boss as party deputy leader

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Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa appointed retired army boss Constantino Chiwenga and veteran politician Kembo Mohadi as the ruling party’s vice presidents, a spokesperson said on Saturday.

The appointments paved the way for the two to ascend to similar positions in government, officials said.

Mnangagwa, who took over last month from 93-year-old Robert Mugabe after the intervention of the military, is under pressure from opposition parties and the public to implement political reforms.

Under Mugabe’s 37-year rule political space was limited, with the latter part of his reign marked by the emergence of a ZANU-PF faction aligned to his wife Grace that threatened to usurp the army’s central role in government.

Chiwenga, who retired from the army on Monday, is the latest in a string of senior military figures appointed by Mnangagwa to important political posts.

Presidential spokesman George Charamba said Chiwenga and Mohadi’s appointments as vice presidents of the country could only be made by the Chief Secretary to the Government and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda, who is out of the country.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Abiy Ahmed wins the 2019 Nobel Peace Award

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for immersly efforts to end two decades of hostility with longtime enemy Eritrea.

Though Africa’s youngest leader still faces big challenges, he has in under two years in power begun political and economic reforms that promise a better life for many in impoverished Ethiopia and restored ties with Eritrea that had been frozen since a 1998-2000 border war.

“We are proud as a nation,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement, hailing a “collective win for all Ethiopians, and a call to strengthen our resolve in making Ethiopia – the new horizon of hope – a prosperous nation for all.”

It said the prize was meant to recognize “all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions.”

The Nobel Committee’s decision appeared designed to encourage the peace process, echoing the 1994 peace prize shared by Israeli and Palestinian leaders and the 1993 award for moves towards reconciliation in South Africa, said Dan Smith, head of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

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