President Emmerson Mnangagwa has reversed a directive issued by his deputy Constantino Chiwenga in April 2018 when he briefly doubled as Vice President and Defence and War Veterans Affairs minister.
The former Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) commander extended the retirement age for soldiers from 65 to 70 years, but the move was recently overturned by Mnangagwa.
According to circular number 13 of 2020 signed by Public Service Commission secretary Jonathan Wutawunashe, dated August 31, 2020, and addressed to all heads of government departments including the Defence Ministry, the latest amendment is meant to harmonise the retirement criteria for all civil servants. The circular read:
The amendment approved by His Excellency the President, which is being finalised in the immediate term, harmonises the retirement criteria by restoring the retirement/pensionable age to sixty-five years for all civil servants.
Heads of ministry will, therefore, with immediate effect, no longer need to request an extension of service for personnel who have not attained the age of 65 years.
Chiwenga had extended soldiers’ retirement age from 65 to 70 after amending section 113(2)(a) of the Defence Act Chapter 11:02.
The latest development comes at a time when there are claims that Chiwenga is keen on taking over from his boss.