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President Mnangagwa orders government officials to declare assets

Zimbabwe’s new interim President Emmerson Mnangagwa reviews the honour guard for the first time as president after being sworn-in during a ceremony at the National Sports Stadium in Harare, on November 24 2017. Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in as Zimbabwe’s president on November 24, marking the final chapter of a political drama that toppled his predecessor Robert Mugabe after a military takeover. Mnangagwa, until recently one of Mugabe’s closest allies, took the oath of office at the national sports stadium on the outskirts of Harare to an explosion of cheering from the full-to-capacity crowd./ AFP PHOTO / Jekesai NJIKIZANA

President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe has given cabinet ministers and senior government officials until the end of February to declare their assets.

Mnangagwa, 75, took power after Robert Mugabe was toppled by the military.

He immediately promised to tackle corruption, especially in public institutions.

Misheck Sibanda, chief secretary to the president and cabinet, said in a statement that it was now mandatory for cabinet ministers, their deputies, senior government officials and bosses of state-owned businesses to declare their assets.

The officials will be required to disclose details on their real estate, other property valued above 100,000, dollars and shareholdings in businesses by Feb. 28.

“The president expects the full and urgent cooperation of all the affected office bearers,” Sibanda said.

Mnangagwa, who is attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, the first time by a Zimbabwean president, is trying to break with past policies of Mugabe in a bid to lure foreign investment and end the country’s international pariah status.

Under Mugabe’s near four-decade rule, few government officials were arrested for corruption.

When the military announced it had put Mugabe under house arrest on Nov. 15, it said it was targeting criminals that surrounded the 93-year-old leader.

Since then, three former government ministers and allies of Mugabe have been arrested and charged in court for criminal abuse of office.

The trio denies the charges and say they are being persecuted for supporting Mugabe and his wife Grace.

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