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Mnangagwa appoints key ally Virginia Mabhiza as Attorney General

By Staff Reporter

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has appointed long-time aide Virginia Mabhiza as the country’s Attorney General in a move seen as part of the Zimbabwe strongman’s bid to consolidate power.

The country’s first woman to become government’s chief lawyer, Mabhiza replaces Prince Machaya who retires at the end of October.

Her appointment is with effect from November 1.

She has been the permanent secretary in the ministry of Justice, legal and parliamentary affairs for two terms since 2013.

Mabhiza was also the secretary for constitutional affairs who superintended over the country’s constitution making process.

Announcing the appointment on Wednesday, chief secretary to the President and Cabinet Martin Rushwaya, said Mabhiza is a qualified legal practitioner who brings vast experience in the country’s criminal and civil litigation system.

Mnangagwa also appointed Mike Madiro as the Chairperson of the National Railways of Zimbabwe (Pvt) Limited Board with immediate effect.

He takes over from Martin Dinha.

During Mnangagwa’s first term, Madiro was deputy minister of home affairs and transport and infrastructure development.

Dr Agnes Mahomva has been appointed as the Public Health Advisor to the President and Cabinet while Joram Gumbo as Special Advisor to the President for Monitoring Implementation of Government Programmes also with immediate effect.

Dr Mahomva was the coordinator for Zimbabwe’s Covid-19 response programme.

“The decision has been necessitated by the need to strengthen public health promotion efforts and enhance the country’s response  to public health emergencies in view of the fact that public health issues span beyond the mandate of the ministry responsible for health,” said Rushwaya.

On the other hand; Gumbo is expected to ‘provide and independent coverage of the status of project implementation countrywide”.

However, Mabhiza’s appointment has been viewed as a strategic deployment by Mnangagwa who is keen to strengthen his reign.

Mabhiza, as the chief government lawyer, would be key in the enactment of laws in Mnangagwa’s current term of office.

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