Cain Mathema
Cain Mathema
BornCain Ginyitshe Mathema
(1947-01-25) January 25, 1947 (age 75)
  • Minister of Primary and Secondary Education
EmployerGovernment of Zimbabwe
PredecessorPaul Mavima
Political partyZimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front
Spouse(s)Bathabetsoe Nare (2016 to present)
Former: Musa Ncube

Cain Ginyitshe Mathema was a Minister without portfolio. Before his reappointment in September 2021, Mathema He is a writer, and member of the ZANU-PF party. He was formerly ZAPU. He was the former Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Minister of Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators and Former Political Detainees, former Matebeleland North Provincial Governor, and a former ambassador.

Personal Details

Born: 25 January 1947, Sipepa, Tsholotsho District.
Married: Musa Ncube, divorced. She was his third wife, and maid to the second wife.
December 2016, Bathabetsoe Diana Nare (23-year-old, 47 years his junior). [1]
Mathema has seven children.[2]

School / Education

No information could be found on his Junior or High School, or any tertiary education. He joined ZIPRA in 1968.

Service / Career

Cain Mathema joined ZIPRA in 1968. He was a Member of Parliament and has served as an Ambassador Governor and Resident Minister for Bulawayo West. In September 2021, Cain Mathema was reappointed Minister Without Portfolio in the Office of the President and Cabinet. [3]

Under Robert Mugabe, Cain Mathema was:

  • Deputy Minister of Rural Resources and Water Development - 1997.
  • Ambassador to Zambia.
  • Governor for Bulawayo, February 2004 - September 2013.
  • Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Matabeleland North, September 2013 - October 2017
  • Minister of War Veteran, October 2017 - November 2017.

Under Emmerson Mnangagwa, Cain Mathema was:

  • Minister of State for Matabeleland North, December 2017 - September 2018.
  • Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, September 2018 - November 2019.
  • Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, November 201930 September 2021.
  • Minister of State without portfolio, September 2021 - present (December 2021).

In 2005, he was been placed on the United States sanctions list. [4]

It was announced by Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda

In terms of Section 104 (1) of the Zimbabwe Constitution Amendment No 20 of 2013. His Excellency the President, Dr Emmerson Mnangagwa has made the following Ministerial appointments: Hon. Evelyn Ndlovu as Minister of Primary and Secondary Education and Hon. G.Cain Mathema as Minister Without Portfolio in the office of the President and Cabinet. The appointments are with effect from 30 September 2021

Evelyn Ndlovu was minister of State in Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s office. [5]



In October 2019, ZimLive reported that Mathema was staying at Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare since September 2018 when he was appointed into cabinet by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The government allocated government houses for use by ministers, but accommodation shortages meant that ministers who have no properties in Harare are put up in hotels while accommodation is sought.

A source said that Mathema did not own a house anywhere, other than a small flat in Bulawayo which his ex-wife Musa Ncube held onto after they divorced.

The source said when Cain Mathema was a provincial minister for Matabeleland North he lived in the village in Tsholotsho and would drive up and down to Bulawayo daily.[6]


Cain Mathema is a published Ndebele and English poet, playwright short story writer and cartoonist. He has published over 20 books on economics, politics, political economy, news media, cooperatives, human resources, language, social cohesion, culture and philosophy. His books are published by different publishing houses which include but are not limited to, Mambo Press, Longman Press, Mathema Publishers, College Press and the University of Zimbabwe amongst others. In the year 2005, Mambo Press won a NAMA award for publishing Cain Mathema’s outstanding Ndebele book called Umnvundla. In 2004 and 2005, Cain Mathema also won a NAMA award for his outstanding book called Ulimi Lwami. His works have been used in local universities and beyond.

A list of his books include:

  • Wealth and Power: An Introduction to Political Economy (1988)
  • ZANU (PF) and economic independence (1994)
  • I love you Joy Hwami (1992)
  • Ulimi Lwami (Poetry series) (1998)
  • Socialism and Christianity (1992)
  • I drew for the liberation struggle (1989)
  • Co-operatives, what about them? (1988)


  • In December 2016, he made the news when he married a new wife Bathabetsoe Nare, who was 23 years old. Nare was 47 years younger than Mathema by the time they got married. She had worked at government offices as part of her attachment while studying at Midlands State University and it was suspected they started dating then. Mathema was divorced and single before marrying Nare.[7]
  • In October 2009 a court in Zimbabwe heard that Mathema had impregnated and entered into a customary union with his ex-wife’s domestic worker before they had divorced. The ex-wife, Musa Ncube, was suing him for the maintenance of their three children. Ncube accused Mathema of “taking advantage” of her youth when he had sex with her when she was a 20-year-old and he was 44.[8]
  • In December 2010, as Governor of Bulawayo, Mathema said that the bones of Cecil John Rhodes, the founder of Rhodesia, were supposed to be be immediately exhumed and sent back to Britain as it was an affront to postcolonial sensibilities. He also said Victoria Falls was supposed to revert to its original name from the Tonga language, Mosi oa Tunya.

Health Issues

On 31 August 2021, there was a report Cain Mathema had been airlifted to Harare from Bulawayo after his health deteriorated. The report stated that Mathema had been admitted to the United Bulawayo Hospitals’ refurbished Covid-19 facility in mid-August after catching Covid-19.

Sources interviewed by the publication said the minister was flown to Harare on 28 August 2021 and was admitted at Arundel Mediclinic. One source said Cain Mathema had excessive fluids in his lungs and was getting progressively worse. The source added that some kind of surgical procedure had been performed and that Mathema was not in good shape, but he was battling. [9]


  1. Brian Maregedze, A Song to Bathabetsoe Diana Nare Mathema, Sunday News, Published: April 28, 2019, Retrieved: March 2, 2021
  2. HONOURABLE NDABAZEKHAYA CAIN GINYILITSHE MATHEMA,, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: September 2, 2021
  3. New Education Minister, Evelyn Ndlovu, Sworn In, Pindula News, Published: October 6, 2021, Retrieved: December 1, 2021
  4. Cain Mathema, Wikipedia, Retrieved: 2 December 2021
  5. Cain Mathema Demoted To Minister Without Portfolio, New Zimbabwe, Published: 30 September 2021, Retrieved: 2 December 2021
  6. Home Affairs minister Cain Mathema in second year of Harare hotel stay, ZimLive, Published: October 20, 2019, Retrieved: September 2, 2021
  7. Leopold Munhende, 70-Year-Old Cain Mathema Weds 23-Year-Old Beauty, RadioVOP, Published:23 Dec 2016, Retrieved: 24 Dec 2016
  8. Lindie Whiz Mathema dumped wife for maid, NewZimbabwe, Published:1 October 2009, Retrieved: 24 Dec 2016
  9. Covid-battling minister Mathema airlifted to Harare as health deteriorates, ZimLive, Published: 31 August 2021, Retrieved: 31 August 2021