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HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe has named a former diplomat as the head of its intelligence agency, state-owned newspaper The Herald said on Saturday.

Isaac Moyo, who was serving as an ambassador to neighbouring South Africa and Lesotho, replaces retired army general Happyton Bonyongwe, the paper quoted chief secretary to the president, Misheck Sibanda, as saying.

No one was immediately available to comment in President Emmerson Mnangagwa's office. The Herald is a mouthpiece for the government.

Moyo takes over a domestic spy network, the Central Intelligence Organisation, that permeates every institution and section of society and has been used by former President Robert Mugabe to stay in power.

He has served as a member of the African Union's Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA), intelligence provider to the union's 55 states.

Mnangagwa, who was sworn in two weeks ago in the wake of the de facto military coup that ended Mugabe's 37-year rule, has been ringing in changes in his administration including appointing leading military officials to top posts in his cabinet.

(Reporting by Emelia Sithole-Matarise; editing by Clelia Oziel)

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