Edna Madzongwe

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Edna Madzongwe
Picture of Edna Madzongwe
Edna Madzongwe
(1943-07-11) July 11, 1943 (age 80)
  • Politician
Spouse(s)Forbes Madzongwe (deceased)
ChildrenValentine, Farai, Tendai, Tsitsi and Martin
Parent(s)Enoch (Sireu) Gwanzura and Miriam (Mheria) Gwanzura née Gara.

Edna Madzongwe was born on 11 July 1943, is a Zimbabwean politician and member of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF). Madzongwe was part of Grace Mugabe's entourage during her "Meet the People" rallies . She was also among those who were eyeing the Vice President's post after Joice Mujuru was fired by Mugabe shortly after the party's 6th Congress held in December 2014.

Personal Details

She was married to Forbes Madzongwe who is now late and they had three children.

School / Education

Madzongwe did undergraduate study at the University of Massachusetts, Worcester Campus and she earned a BA Degree in English as major subject and Psychology as a minor subject.

  • She did postgraduate studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Campus and earned a Masters of Education. Specialized in Educational Psychology and Urban Education.
  • Madzongwe has a certificate in the teaching of English, certificate in Guidance and counseling.
  • Completed coursework for a Doctoral Degree in Education as well as the comprehensive exams. All the above studies were with the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Camp

Service / Career

Edna Madzongwe has indicated that she was born in a political family and she was politically active from the time she was in primary school. Her eldest brother Erick Gwanzura was one of the early nationalists and detainees together with two first cousins Phannuel and Zacharia Gwanzura now late. In 1966 after UDI, they were sent by the party in Highfield to go to Lusaka Zambia with other Zanu PF youth where they awaited deployment to designated countries either for military training or academic education. She was posted to join other Zanu PF party students in USA where she did her university studies.

While in the USA, I was a member of the ZANU party students Activists together with comrades Kumbira Kangai, Rugare Gumbo and many others. We were active in the collection of money and clothing for freedom fighters who were in the front. Earlier on, before the establishment of our party in Mozambique, activities we carried out were demonstrations at the UN in New York against enemy countries and addressing civic groups on the plight of our country under the Smith regime. We were advocating for the emancipation of our country. From the mid-seventies onward, my late husband and I were instrumental in placing Zimbabwean refugee students at Lowell University in Massachusetts. Up to now the town of Lowell has a sizeable Zimbabwean community. In the late seventies, we were able to hold frequent ZANU PF meetings, coordinated by Cde Tirivafi Kangai, where we were briefed on the war and what was expected of us in order to continue helping the fighters. We were also to prepare to go back home and give services according to our professional qualifications. After Zimbabwe won its independence in 1980, my husband and I returned home and joined the Mubaira ZANU PF district in Mhondoro. In 1985, we transferred to Saruwe ZANU PF district where I was elected chairwoman. I continued with party development programmes such as scholarships for Adult education for Ex-Combatants, with Cde Mutumbuka. When the post of secretary for women's rights was introduced, I was elected to that position at the provincial level.[1]

In the 1990 Parliamentary Election (see A History of Zimbabwean Elections) Kadoma East returned to Parliament:

Turnout - 33 498 voters or 95.18 %

Positions Held

  • In 1990 she became an elected MP for Kadoma East constituency.
  • In 1994 Edna was appointed the Deputy Minister of Education and Culture.
  • 1995 saw her as Deputy Speaker of the House Of Parliament of Zimbabwe and chairman of committees
  • On 30 November 2005, she was afforded the great honour of being elected the first female President of The Senate in the history of Zimbabwe and Africa, to lead the third arm of the Zimbabwean Government which is the Legislature. A position which again she was elected to in 2008 in the Seventh Parliament.
  • Led the Parliamentary delegation to the Beijing Women's Conference.
  • Member of the forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE)

Held position of president, world Women Parliamentarians for peace.[2]


Edna became a force to reckon with when she was elected through a secret ballot to became the Deputy Speaker of Parliament in 2000.[3] A post she held up to 2005. In November 2005, she was appointed by Mugabe to be the President of the Senate. This ceremonial position is ranked fourth after the two-state vice presidents. Upon being conferred as President of the Senate, Madzongwe thus became responsible for the administration of the bicameral Parliament of Zimbabwe as the Deputy Chairperson of the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders.[4]

In 2008, she was re-elected as the President of the Senate after defeating Gibson Sibanda who was the vice president of the Movement for Democratic Change MDC faction which was by then led by Arthur Mutambara.[5] Sibanda was also supported by the Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC faction.[5]

During the coveted 31 July 2013, elections, Madzongwe was elected to be the Senator for Chegutu-Mhondoro constituency. She, however, relinquished this post after she was re-appointed by Mugabe in September 2014 to be the President of the Senate for the third time in a row.[6] Hilda Bhobho was nominated and then subsequently appointed to be the Senator for Chegutu-Mhondoro. [7] Edna is deputy president of the African Parliamentary Union (APU), an organization of parliaments in Africa including Arab speaking countries.

Aligning with Emmerson Mnangagwa

It has been reported that Madzongwe was and is aligned to the Mnangagwa’s camp when the race to succeed Mugabe was escalating. She is said to have played a pivotal role in the elevation of Grace Mugabe to be the leader of ZANU PF's Women's League. [8] She was part of Grace's entourage during her "Meet the People" rallies. Grace in return proposed that Madzongwe was the ideal candidate to fill in the post of being the vice president. [9] Oppah Muchinguri was said to have obstructed Madzongwe’s elevation by arguing that Madzongwe hails from Mashonaland West Province where Mugabe also comes from. [9] Hence, it was not prudent to have the president and one of his deputies coming from the same province. The Mnangagwa camp was said to have been divided over who to choose between Muchinguri and Madzongwe although in the end neither of them were appointed by Mugabe after the party’s 6th Congress.[9]


In 2008, Madzongwe was embroiled in a dispute with Richard Thomas Etheredge, who was by then the owner of Stocklade Citrus Farm in Chegutu. [10] It was reported that Madzongwe claimed that Stocklade farm was her property. She even had an offer letter from the government authorising her takeover of the farm.[10] The argument that was put forward by Madzongwe was that, she was reluctant to occupy the farm during the Third Chimurenga which began in 2000 being spearheaded by the war veterans. Madzongwe forcibly evicted Etheredge together with his family being aided by armed policemen. [10] Etheredge had however complied with the orders of the government during the land reform pprogramme when he surrendered half of his farm which was spanning over 2 000 hectares. [10]

In a bid to regain what was rightfully his, Etheredge appealed to the SADC Tribunal Court after Madzongwe failed to abide to four other court orders, ordering her to vacate the farm. [10] The SADC Tribunal Court ordered Madzongwe to vacate the farm, ordering Etheredge to rresume his business at his farm. Regardless of this, Judge Anne-Mary Gorowa from the High Court of Zimbabwe over turned the ruling of the SADC Tribunal Court. On 4 March 2009, Madzongwe reoccupied the farm with the assistance of four armed policemen. [11] Farai Madzongwe, Edna’s daughter was mandated to tend to the farm.

Madzongwe also took over some of the white owned farms in Mashonaland West namely, Aitape, Bournel, Reydon, Cobourn Estates and one farm belonging to man only identified as Mpofu. [10] Madzongwe has however been fingered amongst other ZANU PF bigwigs who have been subletting their farms. Her farms are said to be targeted by some ZANU PF youths.[12]

Farm Mechanisation Scheme

In July 2020, Edna Madzongwe was listed, in the BSR of 18 July 2020, as a beneficiary in the 2007 RBZ Farm Mechanisation Scheme, as a result of the Fast Track Land Reform Programme.

The data is analysed by recipients origin:.

  • Mashonaland provinces had the most beneficiaries, both in terms of numbers and value.

Mashonaland East got US$47,5 million,
Mashonaland West US$44,7 million
Mashonaland Central had US$34,2 million.

  • Two Matebeleland provinces had a combined total of US$13,9 million.
  • Masvingo US$26,4 million,
  • Manicaland US$18 million
  • Midlands US$14 million.

Edna Madzongwe is listed under the thematic group “Politicians”. According to the list, she got a loan of US$325,368.00. [13]


Madzongwe together with Kudakwashe Bhasikiti and Ignatius Chombo were the only Zanu PF members who supported Phillip Chiyangwa to stand in the 2012 elections for the vacant post of the Provincial Chairperson of Mashonaland West. [14]


  1. "HON MADZONGWE EDNA". Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  2. "HON MADZONGWE EDNA". Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  3. Tarcey Munaku, Uproar in Parliament, The Zimbabwean Situation, published:19 July 2000,retrieved:31 December 2014"
  4. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE OFFICE, Parliament of Zimbabwe, published:2006, retrieved:31 December 2014"
  5. 5.0 5.1 Madzongwe wins Senate presidency, New Zimbabwe, published:11 Dec 2009,retrieved:31 December 2014"
  6. Zvamaida Murwira, Madzongwe to relinquish Senate seat, The Herald, published:10 Sep 2013,retrieved:31 December 2014"
  7. Madzongwe senatorial replacement nominated, The Chronicle, published:24 Dec 2014,retrieved:31 December 2014"
  8. Madzongwe, Khaya Moyo to become new VPs?, Nehanda Radio, published:,retrieved:31 December 2014"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Everson Mushava, Power struggles rock Mnangagwa camp, Nehanda Radio, published:11 Nov 2014, retrieved:31 December 2014"
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Zimbabwe senate, Madzongwe, vows she will not leave illegally occupied farm, The ZimDiaspora, published:18 Apr 2009,retrieved:31 December 2014"
  11. Mike Campbell, Attempts by farmer to register SADC Tribunal judgment, Mike Campbell Foundation, published:,retrieved:31 December 2014"
  12. ZANU PF youths to invade Shamu farm, New Zimbabwe, published:26 Dec 2014,retrieved:31 December 2014"
  13. https://www.bigsr.co.uk/single-post/2020/07/18/BSR-EXCLUSIVE-Beneficiaries-of-the-RBZ loan of US$325,368.00-Farm-Mechanisation-Scheme BSR EXCLUSIVE: Beneficiaries of the RBZ Farm Mechanisation Scheme], Big Saturday Read, Published: 18 July 2020 Retrieved: 18 July 2020
  14. Patrice Makova, Zanu PF chefs in bitter fight over Chiyangwa, Nehanda Radio, published:2 Jan 2012,retrieved:31 December 2014"

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