Mapeza, who has agreed a one-year contract, fills the vacancy left by Belgian Tom Saintfiet who took the job in September but was deported he did not have a work permit.
The 38-year-old Mapeza had been Zimbabwe's caretaker coach for two matches in 2007 and then again for four games last year, including a defeat by Brazil in a friendly just before the World Cup in neighbouring South Africa.
Zimbabwe play an African Nations Cup qualifier against Mali in Bamako on March 26.
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