President Mnangagwa Appoints New Chief Secretary
Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa has appointed his cousin Martin Rushwaya to serve as the new Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet. Rushwaya replaces the recently retired Misheck Sibanda in the influential role.
Rushwaya, who turns 62 later this month, brings a wealth of experience to the role. He previously held the post of Secretary of Defence and has most recently been Sibanda’s deputy. His appointment was announced on Tuesday along with other upcoming changes to senior bureaucratic positions.
According to ZimLive, Prince Machaya is additionally expected to retire from his post as Attorney General. The vacant role of Prosecutor General also needs to be filled. There is speculation that Justice Secretary Virginia Mabiza may be appointed Deputy Chief Secretary, though she prefers taking on the prosecution job.
Sibanda was required to retire in accordance with new civil service rules mandating retirement at age 60 for those appointed after May 1992. An exception allows those employed prior to remain until 65, which includes Sibanda and the incoming Rushwaya.
Some have criticized Rushwaya’s appointment, arguing it further concentrates power among the President’s relatives as he and Sibanda share familial ties to Mnangagwa. Earlier announcements also included the President’s son and nephew receiving cabinet roles.
The leadership shake-ups aim to inject new perspective into key advisory and legal enforcement positions supporting the Zimbabwean government. Debate continues around charges of nepotism within the higher levels of the administration.