Joseph Chinotimba
Picture of Joseph Chinotimba
Joseph Chinotimba
BornJoseph Chinotimba
(1950-03-23) March 23, 1950 (age 72)
Zimbabwe
ResidenceHarare, Zimbabwe.
Occupation
  • Member of Parliament
  • Politician
  • Human Rights Activist
  • Labour Activist
Years active1980 –present
Spouse(s)Polygamist

Joseph Chinotimba is a war veteran, politician and former Harare City Council security guard who came into the limelight in the new millennium by organizing, directing and leading the famous farm invasions under the Third Chimurenga in the year 2000. Chinotimba was appointed Ambassador of Happiness in honour of his humorous character and represented Zimbabwe in the happiness dialogue in Dubai.[1] Chinotimba is the current Member of Parliament for Buhera South. He contested in the 2018 elections and won.


Background

Chinotimba was born on March 23, 1950. He is a polygamist and his first wife is called Mufambi.[2] As of 4 March 2022, Joseph Chinotimba has two wives. [3]

Children

Chinotimba has three children with his former wife Locardia Dzitiro. The couple lost their fourth and lastborn in 2020. Chinotimba had taken that child for DNA saying the baby was not his.[4]

As of 4 March 2022, Joseph Chinotimba has 14 children in total.[3]

Second Wife Cheating Incident

On 20 October 2020, Joseph Chinotimba caused a scene at Belvedere Vehicle Inspection Department by blocking a Norton man’s vehicle. Chinotimba suspected the man of caressing and kissing his second wife.

Chinotimba and team dragged Mahachi of Maridale Park while assaulting him accusing him of dating his second wife Locardia Dzitiro. Mahachi’s movements with Dzitiro were reportedly being monitored.

Dzitiro confirmed she was having an affair with Mahachi arguing that Chinotimba was no longer giving her the attention she needed as a young woman.[4]

She demanded a divorce token from Joseph Chinotimba after she moved out of her matrimonial home. Locardia Dzitiro wanted Chinotimba to take her back to her parents according to the Shona custom. The couple divorced.[5]

Political career

During the parliamentary elections of 2005, Chinotimba ran for the Highfield seat and lost.[6]

In 2008 he resigned as Municipal police chief inspector to concentrate on politics. His liberation war credentials and infamy he had gained from the farm invasions was enough to gain a place in the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU PF) as a parliamentary candidate in the 2008 elections.[7] Chinotimba is currently an MP for Buhera South Constituency

2005

Tsholotsho Declaration

In 2004, Chinotimba attended an unsanctioned Zanu-PF Tsholotsho meeting to drum up support for Emmerson Mnangagwa's bid for the party vice-presidency.[8]

As a result, Chinotimba was kicked out of his Mabelreign mansion in January 2005 for allegedly attending the Tsholotsho meeting. He was also barred from contesting in Zanu-PF's primary elections in Glen Norah.[9]

Challenging Mugabe For War Vets Charmanship

Chinotimba was accused by the war veterans of gross indiscipline after he campaigned to challenge President Robert Mugabe for chairmanship. The war veterans association had announced that President Robert Mugabe would be their honorary chairman.

In response to Chinotimba's challenge, the Patrick Nyaruwata-led national executive suspended Chinotimba as chairman of Harare province and wrote to the Ministry of Defence, the parent ministry of the war veterans, to investigate Chinotimba’s war record.

This was not the first time that war veterans had questioned the credentials of Joseph Chinotimba. In August 2001 his colleagues in the war veterans’ association told The Independent that they had no knowledge of Chinotimba’s war record. The war veterans said Chinotimba crossed into Mozambique in late 1979 as a refugee.[10]

2008 Election Violence

ZANU PF selected Chinotimba to be their parliamentary candidate for the Buhera South seat in the March 2008 harmonized election.

Although MDC-T candidate Naison Nemadziva eventually won the seat in 2008, it was not before Chinotimba had unleashed a variety of terror tactics, that included mob violence, group rape and even murder.

According to eyewitness testimonies, on 5 May 2008 Chinotimba, in the company of his cousin, raped an MDC-T member in Buhera. He threatened Idah Munyukwi with a gun before raping her twice.

Chinotimba also encouraged ZANU-PF members to use rape as a tool. Under his instruction, a group of about 21 ZANU PF thugs gang-raped Memory Mufambi, an MDC-T supporter in Ward 18 of Buhera.

Girl Child Network founder Betty Makoni dealt with the case, having provided shelter for Mufambi in Botswana. She described in detail how Chinotimba’s mob raped the woman.

She said they went to Mufambi’s home looking for her husband who was a prominent MDC-T activist and when they could not find him they started beating up his wife (Mufambi) until she collapsed.

Makoni said the mob of ZANU PF youth militia and war vets then took Mufambi to their torture base where after initially putting a gun to her head they took turns to rape her over the course of a week.

Mufambi says she lost count of how many men raped her but it was so violent she suffered severe internal injuries. She was only released after one of the men involved became ashamed at the extreme violence and pleaded for her to be released. In 2013 it was reported that Mufambi was still in and out of hospital suffering the long term effects of what happened to her.[11]


As a Member of Parliament (MP)

He was elected Buhera South member of parliament on the July 31, 2013 elections. Often mocked for his lack of education, Chinotimba has proved to be a capable MP through catering for his constituency needs and supporting motions meant to improve the welfare of the majority. His maiden speech in Parliament was rich in criticizing his fellow members of parliament for being corrupt themselves.[12] Through his leadership, the Buhera villagers were provided with food and had their roads repaired. Chinotimba has been seen emotional in parliament supporting Thokozani Khupe's motions for the reduction of cancer and affordable medication for cancer patients.[13]

In the July 2018 elections, he contested and was elected Member of Parliament for Buhera South.

Positions Held

On 25 January 2022, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWA) announced the appointment of Joseph Chinotimba as its political commissar. The appointment came after the war veterans launched a special investment project, New Vista Investment Trust to engage and promote investors in Zimbabwe. Chinotimba replaced Joel Mureremba.[14]

Allegations Against Emmerson Mnangagwa

In May 2022, a video leaked of Chinotimba claiming that President Emmerson Mnangagwa was scheming to get rid of him as a Member of Parliament.

In the leaked video, Joseph Chinotimba was addressing Zanu supporters in Muchini village, ward 29, Buhera South constituency.

Chinotimba claimed that there were people who were being sent by Mnangagwa to ensure he did not retain the Buhera South constituency parliamentry seat in the 2023 elections.

Chinotimba said:

"The word of God was preached here and people were liberated… and there are people who are saying that Chinotimba should die. I did not elect myself to this position. It’s you who elected me and l did not impose myself to the position, what have I failed to do so that I (should) be removed (from) my position? I have put electricity in most areas in my constituency and I have not stopped… now Mnangagwa wants to send his people to remove me. This country was fought for by war veterans."

When contacted by NewsDay for comment on 11 May 2022, Chinotimba confirmed the recording but said it was taken out of context. He said:

"In the video, I was saying that there are people who are claiming to have been sent by Mnangagwa. That is what I was saying. I support my President."

[15]

A Zanu-PF group called the Zimbabwe Revolutionary and Patriotic Youth Network led by Tendai Nyikadzino wrote to the Zanu-PF party headquarters demanding an explanation from Chinotimba.[16]

A demonstration by the Zimbabwe Revolutionary and Patriotic Youth Network failed after police cordoned off the area.[17]

Chinotimba also met President Mnangagwa and a picture of the two shaking hands was shared on social media.

Successes

In December 2014, Chinotimba won the much coveted Human Rights People's Choice Award beating other nominees such as Makosi Musambasi, Sabhuku Vharazipi and Jestina Mukoko. On the same occasion, Chinos, as he is popularly known, also won the Male Member of Parliament Human Rights Defender Award. The ceremony was held in Bulawayo as part of the International Human Rights Celebrations.[18] However Chinotimba's award attracted criticism especially from the social media as the general public expressed dissatisfaction by arguing that Chinotimba did not deserve the award due to his allegations of violence and human rights abuse especially in his Buhera South constituency. The awards were sponsored by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights). [19] Chinotimba is said to have opted to donate the prize to poor villagers in his constituency. He was quoted as saying; “I refuse to use this prize for my own pleasure. This is for the people who elected me to that post, the very people who struggle every day to make ends meet,” [20]

Chinotimba's One Man Demo

Chinotimba joined by touts in the streets of Harare

On Tuesday 13 January 2015, Chinotimba stole the limelight when he held a one-man demonstration in the streets of Harare's central business district.[21] He was demonstrating against the Harare City Council's abuse and arrest of touts and taxi operators which he said were not acceptable in an 'independent' country. He was quoted in one of the local newspapers saying that

A demonstration has no formula. This is the smartest demonstration ever because l am not bullying anyone. From today onwards, l have declared myself to be the patron of all pirate taxis. If l was a mayor, no one was supposed to be arrested. I would focus on resurfacing roads and collecting litter around the central business district. Because of the economic conditions in the country, People need jobs for survival. As a legislator, I speak indigenization and empowerment [21]

After the seemingly successful demo, Chinotimba declared himself as the patron and representative of Harare pirate taxis in a move that was expected to improve relations between the city authorities and the taxi operators.

On 15 January, Chinotimba announced that he was again going to stage another one-man demonstration working in cohorts again with his new partners, taxi drivers against the city council and its workers.[22] Bernard Manyenyeni (the Mayor of Harare) and a hoard of other individuals criticised Chinotimba. Responding to the criticism levelled against him, Chinotimba was quoted saying,

If a person sees something wrong and demonstrates against it, there is nothing wrong. In fact, next week I have another demonstration which I will not pre-empt. I am a politician and not a policeman and am therefore defending the public against injustice. Even Harare West MP (Jessie Majome) at one time demonstrated against smashing of windscreens and what is wrong with Chinoz [22]

On 20 January, Chinotimba staged the garbage demonstration against the City Council arguing that the City Council was poised on focusing on petty issues such as 'harrassing' pirate taxi drivers neglecting issues of major concern such as the removal of garbage. [23] He removed garbage in Mbare and residents from Mbare applauded him stating that Chinotimba was leading by example.

Chinotimba interviewed during his One man demo

Anger over Cde Chinx being denied National Hero Status

Chinotimba was denied access to President Mugabe and First Lady Grace Mugabe when he learned that Cde Chinx had been denied national hero status. Instead Chinx was declared a liberation hero, something Chinotimba was unhappy about as he felt that less deserving people who had not been part of the Second Chimurenga had been granted the honour. Chinotimba promised to appeal to every member of the Zanu-PF Politburo for them to review their decision. He is reported to have said:

I came here. I wanted to see the First Lady, they denied me access, I wanted to see the President, and they also denied me access. Now, I am going to call the politburo members one by one and influence them to demand that the politburo meeting will only go ahead after Cde Chinx has been accorded national hero status.[24]

However, his efforts did not succeed.

Scandals/ Corruption

Save Conservancy

On 6 September 2014 - Zanu PF Save Valley ‘looters’ named

Senior Zanu PF officials and securocrats who were given concessions in the famed Save Valley Conservancy, in a move that has divided the party and invited fresh threats of sanctions against the country, have been exposed.

Walter Mzembi said handing out parts of conservancies to party activists was threatening the hosting of United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly, for 2015, in Victoria Falls. According to documents with Newsday, those named:

Others:

among others.
Chiredzi South MP Ailess Baloyi claimed he had been elected the new Save Valley Conservancy chairman. [25]

Land Grabbing Allegations

Chinotimba was caught up in a land grabbing scandal in 2015 after his son acquired a farm in Manicaland which was not part of government compulsory acquisition list. It was believed that with the aid of his father, Chinotimba had illegally acquired a farm. The farm was said to be under Chihosa Estate about 21 km from Chipinge and was concentrating in timber production of Macadamia trees through the aid of a South African company.[26] The acquisition of farm without a government offer letter is generally viewed as a punishable offence in Zimbabwe. However in the case of Chinotimba, it appears the judiciary was not willing to act and this raised questions on the whether the government was really serious on its one man one farm policy which it was preaching since the birth if the fast track land reform program in 2000.[26]

Heroes Acre Status for Robert Mugabe

Chinotimba reportedly indicated that former President Robert Mugabe will not be buried at the National Heroes Acre for he no longer supports the Zanu-PF political. Chinotimba’s comments came after it was reported that Mugabe was behind the formation of the Ambrose Mutinhiri-led National Patriotic Front (NPF). Chinotimba reportedly said ;

If Mugabe and (National Patriotic Front leader Ambrose) Mutinhiri have sold out, then they are not fit to go to the national shrine. There are lots of people he denied the honour because he was in charge and was calling the shots. Sithole was denied the honour because he sold out during the war. Mugabe has sold out, he will not be buried there.

[27]

Farm Mechanisation Scheme

In July 2020, Joseph Chinotimba 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.

Joseph Chinotimba is listed under the thematic group “Politically Exposed Persons”. According to the list, he received machinery and equipment worth US$163,401.00 including 2 Massey Ferguson tractors. [28]

References

  1. [1], Chinotimba Flies To Dubai To Represent Zim At The International Day of Happiness, Published: 24 January 2018 , Retrieved: 13 Feb 2018
  2. Joseph Chinotimba Facts, Famous Birthdays, Retrieved July 1, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 I HAVE 14 KIDS : CHINOS, Mafaro, Published: March 4, 2022, Retrieved: April 21, 2022
  4. 4.0 4.1 Arron Nyamayaro, CHINOTIMBA CATCHES 2ND WIFE, H-Metro, Published: October 21, 2020, Retrieved: February 4, 2022
  5. Arron Nyamayaro,CHINOZ’S WIFE OPENS UP, H-Metro, Published: October 22, 2020, Retrieved: February 4, 2022
  6. Zimbabwe Wall of Shame: Joseph Chinotimba, Nehanda Radio, Published: September 27, 2013, Retrieved: May 19, 2022
  7. Takudzwa Munyaka, Zanu-PF's Chinotimba gets a makeover, Mail and Guardian, Published: October 18, 2013, Retrieved: July 1, 2014,
  8. Godwin Gandu, A party divided, M&G, Published: January 17, 2005, Retrieved: May 19, 2022
  9. Zimbabwe: Chinotimba Kicked Out of Party House, allAfrica, Published: January 19, 2005, Retrieved: May 19, 2022
  10. Blessing Zulu, Interim war vets leadership wants Chinotimba probed, The Independent, Published: January 7, 2005, Retrieved: May 19, 2022
  11. Lance Guma, Chinotimba blows gasket over murder accusations, Nehanda Radio, Published: October 18, 2013, Retrieved: February 4, 2022
  12. Chinotimba steals show in Parliament, New Zimbabwe Published: September 25, 2013, Retrieved: July 1, 2014
  13. Chinotimba: A political messiah?, The Financial Gazette, October 31, 2013, Retrieved: July 1, 2014
  14. Ivan Zhakata, Chinotimba appointed war vets political commissar, The Herald, Published: January 26, 2022, Retrieved: February 4, 2022
  15. Chinos’ ED video stirs controversy, NewsDay, Published: May 12, 2022, Retrieved: May 19, 2022
  16. Nyashadzashe Ndoro, Chinotimba under-fire over leaked video of him hammering Mnangagwa, Nehanda Radio, Published: May 17, 2022, Retrieved: May 19, 2022
  17. Chinotimba lives another day, NewsDay, Published: May 19, 2022, Retrieved: May 19, 2022
  18. , Chinotimba Wins Two Human Rights Awards,Mafaro,retrieved:22 Dec 2014"
  19. P.Mbanje, Chinotimba wins human rights award,Newsday, published:20 Dec 2014,retrieved:22 Dec 2014"
  20. M Dube, Chinotimba Rejects Holiday Prize, Chooses to Donate to Poor Villagers,Zimeye, published:22 Dec 2014,retrieved:"
  21. 21.0 21.1 , Chinotimba in One Man Demo,The Herald, published:14 Jan 29015,retrieved:15 Jan 2015"
  22. 22.0 22.1 Moses Matenga, Chinotimba vows to stage another solo demo, NewsDay, published:16 Jan 2015,retrieved:16 January 2015"
  23. Chinotimba Stages Another Garbage Demo, Zim Eye, published:20 Jan 2015,retrieved:21 January 2015"
  24. EVERSON MUSHAVA, OBEY MANAYITI Chinx’s family demands national hero’s status, NewsDay, Accessed: June 22, 2017
  25. Zanu PF Save Valley ‘looters’ named, Nehanda Radio, Published: 6 September 2014, Retrieved: 31 December 2021
  26. 26.0 26.1 , Chinotimba's Son Grabs Farm,NewsdzeZimbabwe, published:8 Jan 2015,retrieved:14 Jan 2015"
  27. “Mugabe Will Not Be Buried At The National Heroes’ Acre”: Chinotimba, PindulaNews, Published: 20 March 2018 , Retrieved: 20 March 2018
  28. 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