01:39 am
26 May 2017

Zimbabwe’s Mugabe appoints nephew as minister in cabinet shuffle

Harare (AFP) – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Friday appointed his nephew as minister of the department that oversees the controversial policy of forcing foreign firms to cede majority shares to locals.

The “indigenisation” policy has been blamed for further damaging Zimbabwe’s shattered economy as companies move abroad and potential foreign investors shun the country.

Patrick Zhuwao was named minister of youth empowerment and indigenisation in a reshuffle that saw four new ministers and 10 deputies appointed by veteran leader Mugabe.

The new ministers were sworn in at state house in Harare.

Mugabe last reshuffled his cabinet in July after he fired allies of ex-vice president Joice Mujuru, who was dismissed last year over allegations of plotting to unseat him.

Mujuru and her allies have denied the charges and indicated they plan to form their own party to rival ZANU-PF.

Mugabe, 91, replaced Mujuru as vice-president with Emmerson Mnangagwa, a hardliner in the regime.

Zhuwao is not seen as a potential successor to Mugabe, with Mnangagwa widely viewed as the front-runner.