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Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa Appoints Son, Nephew to Deputy Minister Posts

FILE - Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa gestures during his inauguration ceremony at the National Sports Stadium in the capital, Harare, Sept. 4 2023.

HARARE — Newly reelected Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa swore in a new Cabinet on Tuesday, after appointing one of his sons and one of his nephews to deputy minister posts.

The president's Cabinet was largely made up of loyalists from his ruling ZANU-PF party. The move to appoint of his 34-year-old son David Kudakwashe Mnangagwa as deputy finance minister and nephew Tongai Mnangagwa as deputy tourism minister was criticized by the opposition.

Mnangagwa, 80, did not include any members of the main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change party, which has rejected his victory in elections last month.

The credibility of the Aug. 23-24 vote was also questioned by both Western and African observers.

Mnangagwa retained many of his old ministers in his new Cabinet while also including several younger members of ZANU-PF.

The opposition CCC said Mnangagwa appointing family members was “particularly worrying.”

“Rather than think of the national plight, Mr. Mnangagwa has set up an infrastructure to feed his family,” CCC spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi said in a statement.

Mnangagwa received 52.6% of the vote to win reelection for what the constitution decrees should be his second and final five-year term as president of the southern African nation.

ZANU-PF also retained its parliamentary majority, but not with enough numbers to change the constitution without the cooperation of the opposition.

There have been suggestions from within Mnangagwa's party that the constitution should be changed to allow him to stand again.

Observers criticized the election, citing an atmosphere of intimidation against the opposition before and during the vote, harsh security laws, the banning of opposition meetings and rallies and public media bias.

The president has dismissed calls by the CCC for fresh elections supervised by neighboring countries.