Constantino Chiwenga

From Pindula
Constantino Chiwenga
Constantino Chiwenga
Vice President of Zimbabwe
In office
28 December 2017 – Current
Serving with kembo Mohadi
PresidentEmmerson Mnangagwa
Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces
In office
December 2003 – December 2017
Personal details
Born
Constantine Guveya Chiwenga

(1956-08-25)August 25, 1956
Wedza
Spouse(s)Marry Chiwenga
ChildrenGamuchirai Constantine Jnr, Tendai Dominique, Christian Tawanazororo, Michael Alexander
ResidenceHarare
EducationSt Mary's Mission,Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Ethics University of KwaZulu Natal
ProfessionMilitary
Known forOperation Restore Legacy November 2017
Nickname(s)Dominic Chinenge (war name)
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga
Guveya Dominic Nyikadzino Chiwenga  is the current Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, the second secretary of  Zanu-PF political party and the former Minister of Defence . He is also the former Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) and also the former member of Joint Operations Command (JOC). 

On Sunday 3 February, Chiwenga suffered a medical emergency that resulted in him being airlifted to South Africa for treatment. He however prematurely abandoned his treatment following public protests by Zimbabweans at the hospital he was supposedly admitted at and returned to Zimbabwe to attend a cabinet meeting on Tuesday 5 February. Chiwenga appeared on ZBC News in the evening that day saying that he was alive and well, even though the media wished him dead. Chiwenga appeared visibly sick and Zimbabweans noted a significant change in appearance from weeks earlier.

On the 7th of February, it was reported that he had been flown to India to seek further treatment. His ailment was not disclosed. He returned to Zimbabwe on 23 February 2019. He appeared publicly on 27 February 2019 on the welcome of Botswana president to Zimbabwe for bilateral agreement signing. Chiwenga appeared well.[1]

Chiwenga appears on TV on 5 February saying he was well

Background

Constantino Guveya Chiwenga was born on 25 August 1956 in Wedza, Mashonaland East Province.[2] He attended St Mary's Mission in Hwedza for his education together with the likes of Perence Shiri.[3]

Chiwenga was married to Jocelyn Mauchaza (1998 to 2010). He later got married to Marry Chiwenga, a former model and the former wife of Shingi Kaondera.

Education

Constantino attended his High School at St Marys School where he left in form three to attend the Liberation War. [4] He attained a Doctorate of Philosophy Degree in Ethics from the University of KwaZulu Natal.[5]

Involvement in the Liberation Struggle

Chiwenga joined the nationalist movements in 1973. It was reported that he absconded from school whilst he was in Form Three together with Perence Shiri after they decided to join the liberation movements during the Second Chimurenga.[3] He joined the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA), which was the military wing of the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU PF) which is currently led by Mugabe.

After joining the liberation struggle, Chiwenga went to Mozambique where it was reported that he received military training. His nom de Guerre was Dominic Kanenge. Chiwenga rose through the ranks within ZANLA. He became a Provincial Commander for Masvingo/Gaza Province and was deputized by George Chiweshe.[3] In 1978, he was promoted to become a member of the ZANU PF’S High Command. He was tasked to be the Deputy Political Commissar and his commander was Josiah Tungamirai.

Military and Political Career

After 1980, he was attested into the newly formed Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) as a Brigadier commanding First Brigade in Bulawayo. He was promoted to become a Major General. In 1994, he became a Lieutenant General. He became the commander of the ZDF when General Vitalis Zvinavashe retired in 2004.[3] Chiwenga is also the commander of the Joint Operations Command (JOC) together with Augustine Chihuri, Perence Shiri, Philip Valerio Sibanda and Paradzai Zimondi

Presidential ambitions

During the period of turmoil within Zanu-PF, in which it was reported that they were two factions, the one led by the ousted Joice Mujuru and the other one led by Emmerson Mnangagwa, Chiwenga was pointed out as being the third factor embroiled within the succession dispute. It was reported that Chiwenga was eyeing to be Mugabe’s successor and his ascendancy to the presidium was to subsequently lead to the creation of Constantine’s Empire.[6] It was reported that Chiwenga had long been eliminating individuals he viewed as obstacles obstructing him to achieve his intended goals. He was said to be the brains behind Shiri’s assassination attempt (December 2008) as well as killing Solomon Mujuru.[7]

Responding to these allegations leveled against him, Chiwenga was reported to have stated that senior Zanu PF officials who were power hungry were tarnishing his image as well as the image of the ZDF. He stated that the ZDF’s role was and is to protect the civilians as well as to safeguard the country from internal and external attacks.[8] Chiwenga had however announced his allegiance to Mugabe when the former was being inaugurated as the head of the state in August 2013 after winning the July 31st elections.[9]

Involvement In Politics While Still Army General

Although Chiwenga argues that the ZDF is non-partisan, the ZDF was reported to have interfered with political issues. Some members of the ZNA have accused Chiwenga of lacking military expertise, thus calling him a political general and not fit to be called a military general. Brigadier General Herbert Chingono and Brigadier Fidelis Chingono were reported to have stated that Chiwenga devotes most of his time dealing with political issues. They opined that he starts work at 7. 30 am and he knocks off at 10 pm, attending to political issues.[10] The two also stated that Chiwenga never received any military training, stating that he only did a mid-level military course of which he never completed the course.[10]

In May 2017, General Chiwenga warned sections of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association to stop belittling the then President Robert Mugabe, telling them that they would be sent to where they belong. Chiwenga described the war veterans as nobodies. Chiwenga also said he was justified in meddling in politics, despite the fact that Section 212 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe states that the core business of the Defence Forces is to uphold the Constitution among other responsibilities,

Chiwenga was quoted as saying

This must now stop, or we are going to send them to where they belong. If they want to remain as part and parcel of those disciplined, loyal, patriotic cadres, they must now understand that it is the party, it is the government that sets the direction.

...Some will ask why I am speaking about these issues, they will talk of separation of the military from politics in the Constitution. I went to the struggle — that will not change. You cannot change history. We went out there. We are also cadres. We rose through the ranks.

I am not only Commander of the Defence Forces, but also I was their commander there in the struggle. And the defence of this country, the security of this country — because the security services, be they the President’s Department, be they the Police, be they the Prisons and Correctional Services — they are combatants.[11]

In November 2017 the Army Commander released a press statement that the army would intervene. In The press statement, General Constantino Chiwenga was reported to have warned politicians in the ruling Zanu-PF party to stop purging heroes of the Second Chimurenga Liberation War or the military would be forced to step in. General Chiwenga reportedly warned the politicians to stop denigrating the military and security services. This followed after President Robert Mugabe had dismissed his deputy and longtime aide, former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa.[12]

Role In November 2017 Coup

After the press statement, an operation dubbed Operation Restore Legacy was led by the General. This followed the resignation of Robert Mugabe after being president for 37 years. Chiwenga received public admiration as he was credited for the takeover. Restore Legacy, How it unfolded

Breaking:Army Commander General Chiwenga press conference on latest Developments

Appointment as Vice President

On the 23rd of December 2017, the President and First Secretary of Zanu-PF Emmerson Mnangagwa appointed Retired General Constantino Dominic Nyikadzino Guvheya Chiwenga as Vice President and Second Secretary of Zanu-PF political party.[13] Chiwenga And Kembo Mohadi Appointed Vice Presidents


Health Problems

Skin Bleaching Allegations

In 2018, Social Media went crazy about Chiwenga s' seemingly lighter skin. People alleged that Chiwenga together with his wife Marry were using skin lightening products popularly know as bleaching. Photos of a darker and a lighter Chiwenga circulated with the jokes about his alleged bleaching.

In May 2018. at his sister's burial Chiwenga defended himself and his wife saying

Today we want to set the record straight on one issue now that journalists are here.

“When we did our operation to normalise things in the country, I was with General (Philip Valerio) Sibanda and many others, they are brave men indeed. “We also informed vaMatanga (then Deputy Commissioner-General of Police) about the plan,” “It was during that time that I fell ill. I had this skin sickness (nhuta) that affected my whole body from beneath my feet to my back and the journalists started saying I was using skin lightening creams, but that was not the case. I was sick.

It was then that my (late) sister Margaret approached Sister Redemptor (Roman Catholic nun) and was given herbs that I began taking until I was healed. But before I took the medication they also prayed for me.

[14]

2019 Health Problems

On 3 February 2019, Chiwenga had to be flown to a Cape Town medical facility after a health emergency. It was not disclosed what the ailment was. Chiwenga was forced to prematurely abandon his treatment in South Africa 2 days later following public protests. After attending a Cabinet meeting on 5 February in Harare where he looked gaunt and pale, he told the state broadcaster ZBC that he was well, and accused the media of wishing him dead.

Chiwenga speaks about his health

On 7 February, Chiwenga was flown out to India to continue treatment. The government was initially silent about his whereabouts and health condition but on 10 February, Deputy Information Minister, Energy Mutodi acknowledged that Vice President Constantino Chiwenga was indeed in India where he is receiving treatment for an abdominal ailment.

On 16 February 2019, President Mnangagwa also acknowledged that Chiwenga was ill and receiving treatment in India. He returned to Zimbabwe on 23 February 2019.

Trivia

  • In the early 1980s, he tried to commit suicide after he failed a military examination.[3]
  • In November 2017 the Retired General sued Jonathan Moyo for defamation of character. The $5 million lawsuits emanated from a press statement issued by Moyo on 9 July 2017 insinuating that Chiwenga did not earn his doctorate degree with the University of KwaZulu Natal, but someone wrote his thesis on his behalf.Chiwenga sues Jonathan Moyo for defamation .
  • Name Change: With effect from the 20th of June 2016, the general changed his name from Constantine Chiwenga to Constantino Guveya Dominic Nyikadzino Chiwenga.

[15]

Publicised divorce

Chiwenga’s marriage with Jocelyn began to crumble in 2010. Chiwenga left his matrimonial home in April 2010 stating that his wife was violent and he was running away for his dear life. He argued that his wife would beat him after she would have sedated him.[16] Jocelyn, however, argued that Chiwenga was abusive.[17] She stated that,

I regret ever marrying him. If l had known he was an abusive husband like this l would not have married him. I don’t care now. I am out of his system [17]

The divorce case exposed the wealth that Chiwenga amassed from 2002 up to date.[18] In September 2014, he evicted his former wife from the family’s Dockson Farm in Goromonzi.[19] His former wife also confirmed that she was receiving threatening messages from unknown callers who were warning her to vacate from her Borrowdale Brooke mansion.[17] Jocelyn also stated that she found juju and an assortment of items used for ritual purposes after a safe was opened in one of the rooms in Chiwenga’s house in Borrowdale Brooke.[20]

Most of the couples’ properties were registered in the name of companies and below is a summary of their wealth.

  • The couple owned Blue Chip Stamp Company (Pvt) Ltd which owned a property at 5 Rosary Close, Quinnington, Borrowdale measuring 5 701 square meters.
  • They also owned Lighthouse Investments (Pvt) Ltd which owned four industrial units in Willowvale, with each unit measuring

3 850 square meters and Liversay Investments (Pvt) Ltd which owns a property at 614 Prince Drive in Borrowdale Brook measuring 4 817 square meters.

  • In addition, the Chiwengas owned Hidcote Investment (Pvt) Ltd which owns a property at 79 Follyjon Crescent measuring 4 955 square meters and Grandi Lodge Sixty One (Pvt) which owns a house on a 1 692 square meters stand in Borrowdale Brooke.
  • They also owned Quacker Investments, which owns stand 103 Shawasha Hills residential estate.
  • The Chiwengas owned Yolsac Safaris (Pvt) Ltd which trades as Kazungula Wildlife Safaris as well as Ventilux (Pvt) Ltd, which has since folded.
  • The couple also owned an apartment in Malaysia and a house at 9 Msasa Drive in Msasa Park.
  • In addition, the couple owned Dokson Investments which spearheaded operations at their farm in Goromonzi. Chiwenga was allocated the farm under the government’s land reform programme.

They also own stand 539 Borrowdale Brooke measuring 1 456 meters squared as well as Dominicus Investments (Pvt) Ltd which owns an industrial stand in Marondera.

  • The couple owned property at 34 Lythan Drive in Glen Lorne and a vacant piece of land at Mermaids Pool about 42 kilometers from Harare.
  • Apart from the properties, the couple also owned motor vehicles, among them, a Prado, Jeep, Toyota Land Cruiser V8, Mercedes Benz C180, Land Rover Defender and a Land Rover Discovery 4.
  • They had an impressive list of jewellery, among them, gold bracelets encrusted with diamonds, gold rings encrusted with diamonds, four gold watches with a 36-karat diamond, three gold chains with diamond pendants, gold choker with a center diamond and two gold bangles encrusted with diamonds.
  • The Chiwengas had 40 gold watches, white gold rings, four white gold chokers, choker Jackie Kennedy pearls and bracelet pearls, 10 gold anklet, an emerald ring, pearl ring encrusted with a 24-karat diamond, forty-eight gold broaches and a set of gold earrings and chain with diamonds.
  • They also had 45 sets of diamond earrings, diamond tiara, blue diamond ring, diamond and emerald necklace, emerald cocktail ring, yellow diamond ring, diamond engagement rings, emerald rings and men’s Rolex watches.
  • The court awarded most of the immovable property to Chiwenga including property at 5 Rosary Close, Quinnington, 79 Follyjon Crescent, stand 332 Borrowdale Brooke, Ventilux (Pvt) Ltd, Chakoma Farm, Marondera Industrial stand and part of Mermaids Pool, 3 850 square metre stand where Ventilux operated from on stand 181 in Willowvale and similar stand where C&J (Pvt) Ltd operated from.
  • He was given 85% share of 614 Price Drive, the couple’s matrimonial home, and stand 103 Chishawasha Hills, weapons, and several hunting trophies.
  • Jocelyn was awarded the house in Glen Lorne and the second house on stand 332 Borrowdale Brooke which she had already disposed of.

She also got the 3 850 square meter stand from where her company Zimsafe operated from and a similar industrial unit which the couple was leasing. She also received two properties in Borrowdale Brooke.

  • She was given most of the property in the master bedroom, five bedrooms, kitchen and master bathroom at their matrimonial home.
  • She was also awarded seven vehicles among them a jeep, Toyota Land Cruiser V8, two Mercedes Benz, Land Rover Defender, Land Rover Discovery and a Toyota Hiace.[21]


References

  1. Pictures: Chiwenga Makes Public Appearance Following Treatment In India, Pindula News, Published: 27 Feb 2019, Retrieved:28 Feb 2019
  2. Constantine Chiwenga, AFRICA CONFIDENTIAL, Published: 2010, Retrieved: 19 Jan 2015
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Geoffrey Nyarota, Shiri's assassination attempt was a hoax, The Zimbabwe Situation, published:6 Jan 2009, retrieved:19 January 2015"
  4. Chiwenga: Authoring end of Mugabe tyranny , , Published:16 November 2017 , Retrieved: 20 December 2017
  5. General Chiwenga attains a PhD, joins Dr. Grace Mugabe, Dr. Mujuru and others , Published:10 May 2015, Retrieved:14 November 2017
  6. Rodrick Mugabe, Only Chiwenga, Mnangagwa Can Rule Zimbabwe, Zim Eye, published:7 Oct 2014,retrieved:19 January 2015"
  7. Fortune Tazvida, Chiwenga ordered Mujuru assassination, Nehanda Radio, published:13 Jan 2012, retrieved:19 January 2015"
  8. Lovemore Chikova, Chiwenga speaks on ZANU-PF fights, The Herald, published:15 Sep 2014, retrieved:19 January 2015"
  9. General Constantine Chiwenga pledges allegiance to Mugabe, Bulawayo24 News, published:22 Aug 2013,retrieved:19 January 2015"
  10. 10.0 10.1 WIKILEAKS: Chiwenga a political General, says ZNA officers, ZimEye, published:3 Sep 2011, retrieved:19 January 2015"
  11. This nonsense must now end!, Herald, published: 02 May 2017,Retrieved:4 May 2017"
  12. Marick Matara (13 November 2017). "Updated: General Chiwenga's Statement Warning Zanu-PF To Stop Purging Liberation War Stalwarts, Warns Military Will Not Hesitate To Step In". Pindula. Retrieved 14 November 2017.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css has no content.
  13. [1], BREAKING: Chiwenga, Mohadi appointed vice presidents , Published: 23 December 2017 , Retrieved: 23 December 2017
  14. "Chiwenga opens up on complexion". The Herald. May 9, 2018. Retrieved May 9, 2018.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css has no content.
  15. Gen Chiwenga changes name, Herald, published:30 July 2016,retrieved:4 May 2017"
  16. Wife beatings drove me from home: Chiwenga, New Zimbabwe, published:11 Oct 2012,retrieved19 January 2015:"
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Ex-wife exposes Chiwenga, The Standard, published:5 Oct 2014,retrieved:19 January 2015"
  18. Chiwengas’ vast wealth exposed, Zimbabwe Independent, published:19 Sep 2014,retrieved:19 January 2015"
  19. Chiwenga evicts estranged wife from farm, Newsday, published:12 Sep 2014, retrieved:19 January 2014"
  20. Juju rocks divorce saga, The Zimbabwean, published:7 Oct 2014, retrieved:19 January 2015"
  21. "Chiwengas' vast wealth exposed". Zimbabwe Independant. September 19, 2014. Retrieved November 14, 2017.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css has no content.