Mnangagwa appoints Chinamasa as Zimbabwe finance chiefEmmerson Mnangagwa, who replaced Robert Mugabe as Zimbabwe’s president after an army takeover, has made a proponent of restoring links with international lenders his acting finance minister.

Patrick Chinamasa’s appointment was made as Mr Mnangagwa, who took office after Mr Mugabe resigned last week and has promised to end Zimbabwe’s isolation, is preparing to name a cabinet.

Mr Chinamasa served as finance minister for four years until last month, when Mr Mugabe purged allies of Mr Mnangagwa from his cabinet as factional infighting came to a head in the ruling Zanu-PF. Mr Mugabe’s subsequent firing of Mr Mnangagwa as his vice-president at the urging of his wife, Grace Mugabe, triggered the army backlash that sent tanks on to the streets of Harare and detained him at his home.

Mr Mnangagwa dissolved Mr Mugabe’s cabinet on Monday, his chief secretary said in a statement, adding that acting appointments to the finance and foreign ministries were needed “to allow for uninterrupted services” in critical parts of government while he considers cabinet posts.

The 75-year-old president said at his inauguration last week that he was “ready and willing to start re-engagement with all the countries of the world”, departing from Mr Mugabe’s rhetoric of recent years that seemed to relish Zimbabwe’s pariah status. Until he was fired by Mr Mugabe and fled for his life, Mr Mnangagwa had been one of the strongest supporters in Zanu-PF of bringing back international investment to Zimbabwe.

Mr Chinamasa had a hand in promises by the government last year that it would soon pay off arrears to lenders including the World Bank and IMF, allowing it access to new investment seen as crucial to ending shortages of cash that have crippled its economy.

Growing turmoil over the succession to the 93-year-old Mr Mugabe scared off international investors and little came of talks as the scarcity of US dollars worsened in the economy, which has no currency of its own since a hyperinflationary crisis in 2008.

Mnangagwa appoints Chinamasa as Zimbabwe finance chief

Source: The Financial Times

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