Affirmative Action Group founding president and chairman, Mr Phillip Chiyangwa, on Monday confirmed as legitimate the appointment of former Zifa boss, Ms Henrietta Rushwaya, as the group’s new vice president responsible for international empowerment and corporate affairs.

This puts to rest contestation by the national executive led by Mr Supa Mandiwanzira, the incumbent AAG president.

Last week, the AAG national executive issued a statement disowning Ms Rushwaya, saying she was not part of AAG and that there were no presidential vacancies in the organisation.

Mr Chiyangwa said the AAG constitution grants him exclusive powers to appoint the presidium by virtue of being the founder president and chair-man.

He said he was the sole appointing authority and that no one could challenge the appointments within the AAG ranks.

He said the appointments of Ms Rushwaya as vice president responsible for international empowerment and corporate affairs and a businesswoman, Ms Jennifer Mhlanga as vice president for gender empowerment were legitimate and that it was the decision of the founders’ council.

The business mogul said the constitution of AAG granted him exclusive powers to make presidential appointments and that no one had the power to reverse them.

Mr Chiyangwa communicated the appointments to the two women through letters dated March 21, 2011.

Earlier, media reports said the AAG leadership was opposed to the development and that they were not recognising Ms Rushwaya as one of the vice presidents.

Mr Chiyangwa said he was the sole appointing authority and that all the members had no option but to accept the founding council’s new appointments.

He said the appointments were legitimate and that they were meant to promote gender balance in the organisation.

“I am the founding president and I am the sole appointing authority. Ms Rushwaya and Ms Mhlanga are the new vice presidents. I am the only one who makes presidential appointments and any dissenting voice, you are out of AAG. That is what the constitution says.

“AAG is male dominated and there was not even a single woman in the leadership,” said Mr Chiyangwa.