Engelbert Rugeje is a Zimbabwean politician who is a member of the Zanu-PF party.He is also the current Secretary for Commissariat for Zanu-PF after being appointed in December 2017.He is also the former chief of staff for the Zimbabwe National Army.
He was born in Charamba village, located in Bikita district Masvingo province. Rugeje is also an heir of the Charamba family. Rugeje was educated at Silveira Mission where he excelled. He joined the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) as a teenager at the age of 16, serving as a partisan. Taking the moniker of "Sunbat", he rose within the ranks of ZANLA to become a member of the movement's general staff.
After the end of the liberation war , Rugeje was offered the rank of major in the new Zimbabwe Defence Forces. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1983, and was made a colonel in 1987. Rugeje led a portion of the Zimbabwean military to quash the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army or "ZIPRA" rebellion in Matabeleland from 1983 to 1987. This was whilst he was the commander at Inkomo Barracks (the primary unit under his command being the First Mechanised Battalion). Rugeje ultimately led ZNA forces to victory over the ZIPRA. Rugeje was also successful in leading missions against the Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO) when he was commander of One Commando Battalion (currently known as One Commando Regiment or simply "One Commando"). Around 1984, under Rugeje's leadership, One Commando assisted other elements of the Zimbabwean military in defeating most elements of the RENAMO.
Rugeje was promoted to brigadier general in 1990 and became quartermaster of the ZNA. In the mid to late 1990s he was actively involved in the Democratic Republic of Congo mission, in which he led successful counter insurgency missions. Rugeje graduated from Lancaster University with both a Master of Defense & Strategic Studies degree, and a Master of Laws degree. Major General Rugeje also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard University.In 2000 he was promoted to major general, becoming the fourth in command of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.