Zimbabwean Army General Constantino Chiwenga speaks to the media at KG6 barracks in Harare, Zimbabwe. File picture: Ben Curtis/AP

Harare, Zimbabwe - The general in charge of the military intervention in Zimbabwe that led to the resignation of longtime ruler Robert Mugabe will retire from the defense forces, paving the way for him to be appointed as vice president.

General Constantino Chiwenga "is set to retire pending redeployment," said chief secretary to the president and cabinet Misheck Sibanda in a statement Monday.

Chiwenga has not stated his political ambitions, but is widely tipped to take up a one of the two vacant vice presidents' posts under President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Chiwenga must retire from the military to take up the position, according to the constitution.

Mugabe, 93, left in dramatic scenes that saw the military put him under house arrest and lawmakers begin impeachment proceedings before he resigned last month.

Associated Press