|Born||Aeneas Soko Chigwedere|
November 25, 1939
|Other names||Chief Svosve Mubaiwa the 10th|
|Years active||1964 to present|
|Political party||Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front|
|Children||sons: Magwiza Chigwedere, Pride Chigwedere, Maona Chigwedere |
daughter: Emilia Chigwedere Junior
Aeneas Chigwedere was a Zimbabwean politician, traditional chief, author, teacher and historian. He was former Resident Minister and Governor of Mashonaland East Province, former Senator and acting Minister of Education, Sport and Culture. In 2015, he was appointed ZANU-PF Mashonaland East Province acting provincial chairman.
Aeneas Soko Chigwedere was born on 25 November 1939 to a father who was a teacher and foreman at a commercial farm, while his mother was a communal farmer. He was born in Hwedza in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia). He was married to Emilia Chigwedere and had sons Magwiza Chigwedere, Maona Chigwedere (late), Pride Chigwedere, and daughter Emilia Chigwedere Junior. He belonged to the Soko Totem of the Mubaiwa clan which comes from the Hwedza area.
Chigwedere was one of the first local academics to graduate with a degree from the then University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (now University of Zimbabwe). He was awarded a Bachelor of Arts Honors in History in 1964. He also attained a Masters degree from the University of London.
For about three decades starting in 1965, his professional roles extended from Teacher to Headmaster to Regional Director in the Zimbabwean education system. In 1995 he became a member of the Parliament, as the Hwedza District Member of Parliament. In 2001, Chigwedere was appointed as Zimbabwe’s Minister of Education, Sport and Culture During the Government of National Unity era between 2008 and 2013, Chigwedere was the provincial governor for Mashonaland East Province. In 2014, Chigwedere was appointed an interim chairperson of the Zanu-PF Mashonaland East Province party after the ouster of Ray Kaukonde on allegations of factionalism. Chigwedere then received a vote of no confidence in April 2014 from the provincial executive. He was accused of sabotaging the then Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa's rally which had not attracted the anticipated turnout. His suspension was eventually declared null and void by the then Zanu-PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere.
School Uniform Controversy
In 2002 Chigwedere suggested that all schools in Zimbabwe should wear a similar uniform as part of the national identity. He was then the minister of education and his remarks attracted criticism from both the general public and other government officials. It was also during his tenure as minister of education when the hot- seating programme in most urban schools was introduced.
As a Historian
Chigwedere was one of the historians to emerge in Zimbabwe. He was known for his interest in the history of the Mutapa State, the [Rozvi State|Rozvi Empire], as well as dynastic and family history of Shona people who resided in the pre-colonial Zimbabwean plateau. Chigwedere had a special bias on pre-colonial histories. For this reason, he was regarded in some circles as the "authority" in Zimbabwean history. He regularly featured on history shows on Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation television channel on a programme called Madzinza eZimbabwe in the early 2000s. Chigwedere became known for his eloquence in spelling out the histories of various Zimbabwean clans citing the respective totems in a classic poetic fashion. However, among mainstream academics, Chegwedere was viewed as an academic outcast. He was criticised by scholars from the department of history at the University of Zimbabwe such as David Beach and Terence Ranger for reportedly flawed theories. At one point in time, he attracted attention when he quoted a spirit medium in his academic presentation.
In 2012, Chigwedere was appointed headman Mubaiwa after the death of substantive headman Mumbaiwa under Chief Svosve in the Hwedza area of Mashonalanand East Province. Chigwedere had been in a fight for headmanship with Hwedza villager and relative Raines Chadoka. Chigwedere was appointed on the 11th of July 2012 after a High Court ruling. To prove that he was the bona fide headman, Chigwedere produced documentary evidence obtained from the National Archives of Zimbabwe which showed that the headmanship alternated between the Chipango and Munzverengi families.
Chigwedere has written up to 10 books and a number of books that are used in Zimbabwean schools up to today. His books include:
- The Moyo Chirandu dynasty
- Chimurenga II episodes: the hunt for Joshua Nkomo - Volume 1
- British betrayal of the Africans: land, cattle, human
- The abandoned adolescents
- The forgotten heroes of Chimurenga I: the archives speak
- Lobola: The Pros and Cons
- Birth of Bantu Africa
- The roots of the Bantu
- The Karanga Empire
- From Mutapa to Rhodes, 1000 to 1890 A.D.
- CHIGWEDERE SON- 22/06/04- TK, SWRadioAfrica, Published: 22 Jun 2004, Retrieved: 14 Apr 2015
- ZIMBABWE SANCTIONS - SUGGESTED ADDITIONS AND DELETIONS, Wikileaks, Published: 11 Jul 2005, Retrieved: 14 Apr 2015
- , Aeneas Soko Chigwedere,UNESCO, retrieved:15 Apr 2015"
- F. Machiwenyika, Mash Est Boots Out Prov Chair Chigwedere,', published:15 Apr 2015, retrieved:15 Apr 2015"
- , Governor Bribed Chief, Court Told,The Herald, published:15 Mar 2012,retrieved:15 Apr 2015"
- , Chigwedere becomes Mubaiwa headman,Newsday, published:12 Jul 2012,retrieved:15 Apr 2015"
- ZimLive, Twitter, Published: January 22, 2021, Retrieved: January 22, 2021