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Patrick Chinamasa appointed as Zimbabwe's acting finance minister

Chinamasa previously served as finance minister in Robert Mugabe’s government but was moved to a newly created ministry of cyber security during a reshuffle last month.

FILE: Zimbabwe’s acting finance minister Patrick Chinamasa. Picture: search.co.zw

JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe’s new president Emmerson Mnangagwa has named Patrick Chinamasa acting Finance Minister until a new cabinet has been appointed.

Chinamasa previously served as Finance Minister in Robert Mugabe’s government but was moved to a newly created ministry of cyber security during a reshuffle last month.

Mnangagwa also appointed Simbarashe Mumbengegwi as acting Minister of Foreign Affairs.

He says this two-member interim cabinet will allow for uninterrupted services in critical government ministries.

Mugabe was forced to resign after the military seized power in Zimbabwe, sparking protests and other calls for him to quit.

Meanwhile, the man Mugabe had appointed to head the National Treasury Ignatius Chombo has been remanded in custody on corruption charges after appearing in court on Monday.

Chombo, who faces charges including trying to defraud the central bank, was detained after the military seized power in “Operation Restore Legacy”, which it said was meant to remove “criminals” around former president Robert Mugabe.

His lawyer, Lovemore Madhuku, told reporters that he would appeal the magistrate’s ruling in the High Court on Tuesday.

“We are hopeful that the High Court will show independence,” Madhuku said.

The magistrate who detained Chombo said the former minister could abscond, influence state witnesses or be the target of a mob attack over the allegations that he abused his position.

Chombo, who was appointed finance minister in October, was among members of the G40 political faction allied to Mugabe and his wife, Grace, who were also expelled from the ruling Zanu-PF party.

Two ousted Zanu-PF Youth League leaders, Kudzanai Chipanga and Innocent Hamandishe, who were both allied to G-40, were also ordered to be detained until 8 December.

Some supporters of Mnangagwa have called for unspecified action against G40 but Mnangagwa has urged citizens not to undertake any form of “vengeful retribution”.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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