Sunday News Reporter/Harare Bureau
THE President and First Secretary of Zanu-PF, Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, has appointed Retired General Constantino Guvheya Dominic Nyikadzino Chiwenga and Cde Kembo Mohadi as Vice-Presidents and Second Secretaries of the ruling party.
In a statement yesterday, Presidential Press Secretary, Cde George Charamba said the appointments were with immediate effect.
“The President and First Secretary of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, Zanu-PF, Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has today made two senior Party appointments,” said Cde Charamba.
“General Constantino Guvheya Dominic Nyikadzino Chiwenga (Rtd), as Vice-President and Second Secretary of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF).
“Hon Kembo C D Mohadi, MP, as Vice-President and Second Secretary of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF). The appointments are with immediate effect.”
Cde Charamba told Sunday News through the telephone that the appointments were made following extensive consultations with the political, traditional, security arms and war veterans.
Cde Charamba said as for the issue of the party’s Vice-President and Second Secretary from Matabeleland, President Mnangagwa sought to get a consensus figure and therefore was guided by sentiments from the Matabeleland region.
“With regards to the issue of the party’s Vice-President and Second Secretary from Matabeleland, which is a creature of the Unity Accord, it was important that the President be guided by sentiments from the region. He got quite a number of deputations from Matabeleland,” he said.
“Because of the representations, the President decided to get a consensus figure. So, he had to consult war veterans, the political leadership in Matabeleland, security structures in Government and the traditional leadership in Matabeleland. From these four levels, he was then able to get an idea of the consensus figure that the region was comfortable with.”
He said it was important to note that these were appointments to the party.
“As regards the Governmental side, that’s a constitutional issue and announcements must be done at an appropriate level and by an appropriate person who happens to be the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda.
“As things stand, the Chief Secretary is out of the country on an urgent assignment. Once he is back, I am sure the announcement will be done,” said Mr Charamba.
Sources, however, said following extensive consultations, five names were raised from Matabeleland and those were Cdes Mohadi, Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube, Speaker of Parliament Advocate Jacob Mudenda and Cabinet Ministers Cdes Simon Khaya Moyo and Obert Mpofu.
“Initially five names were tossed around being that of the Speaker of Parliament Cde Jacob Mudenda, Cde Mohadi himself, Cabinet Ministers Simon Khaya Moyo and Obert Mpofu as well as former Minister, Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube,” said the source.
While the five names were forwarded, the war veterans, the political leadership and senior traditional leaders from Matabeleland expressed reservations on each of the candidates.
However, despite the reservations, it is understood Cde Mohadi’s name came up tops, leading to his appointment by the President.
Cde Mohadi was born on 15 November, 1949 in Beitbridge District, Matabeleland South Province.
He did his Sub A up to Standard One in Beitbridge, including at Mtetengwe Primary School, before proceeding to Gwanda Primary School for Standard 2.
He was at Beitbridge Boarding School up to Standard Six before proceeding to Manama High School in Gwanda for secondary education and then Goromonzi High School in Mashonaland East where he was kicked out while doing Form 3.
Cde Mohadi joined the liberation struggle in the early 70s when he left the country for military training in Zambia via Botswana.
He later went to Russia for further training and on his return was attested to a department within Zapu called Zimbabwe Intelligence Services under the command of the late Cde Ethan Dube but was detained at Khami Maximum Prison in 1976 until his release at Independence in 1980.
He was appointed Defence, Security and War Veterans Minister last month.
He had served as the Minister of State for National Security in the President’s Office (2015 to 2017) and Minister of Home Affairs from 2002 to 2015.
Rtd Gen Chiwenga was born on 25 August, 1956 in Hwedza, Mashonaland East.
He did his secondary school at St Mary’s Mission in the same district before joining the liberation struggle as a 17-year-old and received military training in Zambia and Tanzania.
In 1974, he was appointed a member of the Zanla General Staff and rose to become a member of the Zanla High Command as deputy commissar in 1978.
During the ceasefire period, Rtd Gen Chiwenga was appointed to the ceasefire monitoring team assigned to Manicaland in 1980 and later moved to Masvingo the same year.
He was commissioned a Brigadier on 16 April 1981 and within the same year was appointed Commander of 1 Brigade.
In 1984, he was appointed Commander of 5 Brigade and later as Brigadier-General based at army headquarters until his promotion to Major-General, becoming Chief of Staff (Administration and Quartermaster).
Another promotion in 1994 saw him assume the rank of Lieutenant-General and Commander of the Zimbabwe National Army on the formation of the Zimbabwe Defence forces.
In 2004, he took over as ZDF Commander upon retirement of General Vitalis Zvinavashe.