Air Vice-Marshal (Retired)
Henry Muchena
Henry Muchena Biography
Known forBeing a Vice Air Marshal and politician
Political partyZanu-PF


Henry Muchena is a retired Air Vice-Marshal. Muchena retired from the Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) in June 2010 to join the Zanu-PF commissariat department as principal director.

Marriage & Divorce

Henry and Mildred Muchena, nee Ndunduma were customarily married in August 1986, before the marriage was solemnised in terms of the Marriage Act (Chapter 5:11) on December 19, 1987.

Muchena was the one who filed for divorce in 2017, claiming that the marriage had irretrievably broken down.

During the subsistence of their marriage, Muchena said that they acquired a Toyota Landcruiser, household goods, a residential property at number 51 Newstead Road, Marlborough, Harare and Seruwi Drift Farm.

However, in her summary of evidence, Muchena's wife said the challenges in their marriage began when Muchena started dating a subordinate, which she became aware of in 1999.

During that time, she said Henry Muchena started commuting between his matrimonial home and his mistress’ residence, adding that the mistress would harass her through abusive phone calls.

Her appeals to Muchena to censor his mistress failed to yield results, the court heard, before he totally moved out of the matrimonial home.

She said she thought the affair was a passing phase but was shocked to receive divorce summons.

She said that Muchena began to neglect his family to an extent that his child with his wife who had been sent to Cyprus for tertiary education could not finish her degree as he had not paid her fees.

The child had to return to Zimbabwe and as of 2017 still owed the Cyprus institution some money and she registered herself for a degree through Zimbabwe Open University where she paid for her own tuition.[1]

Second Chimurenga Contribution & Career

He was a ZANLA combatant. Muchena led a group of fighters who went to Masvingo. They did not engage in any battle as peace talks were happening in London. The group was there until the ceasefire was announced in December 1979.[2]

He joined the Zimbabwe National Army at independence, and later transferred to AFZ, where he served until his retirement in June 2010. He was part of the senior officers seconded by the Government from the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) to bring in their command and leadership experience to the Air Force of Zimbabwe. Some of the senior officers transferred included Josiah Tungamirai, Perrance Shiri and Titus Mehliswa Abu-Basutu among others.[3]

Muchena was attached to Headquarters 4 Infantry Brigade as a green board officer together with Collin Moyo, Perrance Shiri, Abel Mazinyani, Lieutenant Colonel M Mpofu and Deny Murimo. [4]

He was appointed as Air Vice Marshal in 2002.[5][1] On 7 September 2006, Muchena was one of at least 103 airforce and army officers that were conferred with medals for their dedication to duty during the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) campaign, and for long service.[6]

Board Appointments

In June 2014, Muchena was appointed to the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) board by Saviour Kasukuwere.[7]

In 2014, Henry Muchena was appointed deputy chairperson of the Zimpost board with effect from 1 August 2014.[8]

On 22 May 2019, Muchena was announced as the deputy chairperson of the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA).[9]

Politics

Upon retiring from active military service, Muchena was appointed principal director in the Zanu PF commissariat department, with the responsibility of revamping the party’s structures. He joined Zanu PF in January 2011.

In 2015, Henry Muchena, Sydney Nyanungo, Munyaradzi Machacha and several others were fired from the party’s commissariat department.

On 13 April 2015, Saviour Kasukuwere confirmed the departures in an interview with NewsDay but claimed that Muchena and others were “voluntary” employees “who come and go as and when they so wished”.

Although Kasukuwere tried to downplay reports that Muchena and his colleagues had been dismissed, officials interviewed by NewsDay confirmed that they were forced out after they clashed with him three weeks prior.

Muchena and his two colleagues were also accused of being part of a group that was reportedly working with Joice Mujuru to topple President Robert Mugabe.[10][1][5]

In 2018, he led the team deployed by the Zanu-PF Commissariat in Matabeleland North to carry out cell verification exercises as the party prepared for its primary elections ahead of the 2018 harmonised elections.[11]

Role In 2013 Elections

Muchena headed the Zanu PF Commissariat together with Sydney Nyanungo. The duo was accused of presiding over a violent quasi-military operation code-named 'Operation Return to Zanu PF' funded by the US$800 million provided by Mbada Diamonds and Anjin.[12]

Henry Muchena also reportedly coordinated an operation in which senior army officials from the ranks of lieutenant colonel and above were clandestinely deployed to rural and urban areas as well as to strategic institutions and organisations to campaign for Zanu-PF.[13]

In 2010, a report by The Standard stated that Muchena was said to be working with a team of 300 army officers scattered around Zimbabwe. The publication reported that its sources had said Muchena’s team included three top commanders stationed at each of Zimbabwe's 10 provinces. These commanders were being assisted three soldiers per district deployed around Zimbabwe's 59 districts and 1 200 municipalities. The soldiers deployed at district level were stationed at all the 59 districts. Muchena's complemented by war veterans and Zanu PF youth militias.

Emmerson Mnangagwa who was Defence Minister and Zanu-PF secretary for legal affairs denied the army was assisting Zanu-PF. However, Zanu PF spokesman virtually confirmed that Muchena and others were helping out his party. He said:

"Muchena could be assisting but he is not fully employed by the party. He just comes to assist like the likes of (Tafataona) Mahoso and (Jonathan) Moyo who come here from time to time to assist us."

[14]

Properties

According to a report published by The Independent on 14 September 2012, Henry Muchena owns two farms.[15]

Chaka Mine

Sydney Nyanungo and Henry Muchena were directors of Impamesa Minerals (Pvt) Ltd which was given a tributary agreement by Kwekwe Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM) in 2012 to operate at the mine and associated mines while paying royalties.

The two were set to over gold mining and processing at the Chaka Plant and Gold mine following a Supreme Court order evicting former Zanu PF legislator William Mtomba from the property.

In a letter written and delivered to Muchena on September 9 2015, by KCGM lawyers, Impamesa Minerals (Pvt) Ltd was invited to move into Chaka Gold Plant and start operations.[16]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Tendai Kamhungira, Army general in nasty divorce, Nehanda Radio, Published: July 12, 2017, Retrieved: May 13, 2022
  2. Norman Muchemwa, ‘Corruption is anti-revolution’, The Sunday Mail, Published: March 15, 2020, Retrieved: May 13, 2022
  3. AFZ History, AFZ, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: May 13, 2022
  4. Mukudzei Chingwere, Top army general dies, The Herald, Published: January 9, 2021, Retrieved: May 13, 2022
  5. 5.0 5.1 Brian Mangwende, President will win — Muchena, The Independent, Published: July 26, 2013, Retrieved: May 13, 2022
  6. Zimbabwe: 103 Airforce, Army Officers Receive Medals, allAfrica, Published: September 8, 2006, Retrieved: May 13, 2022
  7. Paidamoyo Muzulu, Zim courts US over sport hunting ban, NewsDay, Published: June 21, 2014, Retrieved: May 13, 2022
  8. Nigel Gambanga, Lots of homework for new directors at NetOne, TelOne and Zimpost, Techzim, Published: July 29, 2014, Retrieved: May 13, 2022
  9. Elita Chikwati, New boards for key agric parastatals, The Herald, Published: May 23, 2019, Retrieved: May 13, 2022
  10. Everson Mushava, Zanu PF fires ‘pro-Mujuru’ army chiefs, NewsDay, Published: April 15, 2015, Retrieved: May 13, 2022
  11. Tinomuda Chakanyuka/ Robin Muchetu, Zanu-PF to appoint primaries losers campaign managers, Sunday News, Published: April 8, 2018, Retrieved: May 14, 2022
  12. Zanu PF sets US$140 million budget for Mnangagwa re-election in 2023, ZimLive, Published: July 28, 2021, Retrieved: May 13, 2022
  13. Armed forces hide ghost workers, The Zimbabwean, Published: September 16, 2015, Retrieved: May 13, 2022
  14. Dumisani Muleya, Army deployed for Zanu PF campaign, The Standard, Published: November 4, 2010, Retrieved: May 13, 2022
  15. Elias Mambo, Multiple farm-owners defy Mugabe, The Independent, Published: September 14, 2012, Retrieved: May 13, 2022
  16. Blessed Mhlanga, Muchena, Nyanungo take over Chaka Plant, NewsDay, Published: September 15, 2015, Retrieved: May 14, 2022