Constantino Chiwenga

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Constantino Chiwenga
Constantino Chiwenga
Vice President of Zimbabwe
In office
28 December 2017 – Current
PresidentEmmerson Mnangagwa
Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces
In office
December 2003 – December 2017
Personal details
Constantine Guveya Chiwenga

(1956-07-02) July 2, 1956 (age 67)
Spouse(s)Marry Chiwenga
ChildrenGamuchirai Constantine Jnr, Tendai Dominique, Christian Tawanazororo, Michael Alexander
EducationSt Mary's Mission,Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Ethics University of KwaZulu Natal
Known forOperation Restore Legacy November 2017
Nickname(s)Dominic Chinenge (war name)
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga

Guveya Dominic Nyikadzino Chiwenga is the Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, the second secretary of Zanu-PF political party and the former Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs. He is also the former Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) and a former member of Joint Operations Command (JOC). He was appointed the Minister of Health and Child Care on 4 August 2020 by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.[1]

On Sunday 3 February 2019, Chiwenga suffered a medical emergency that resulted in him being airlifted to South Africa for treatment. He however prematurely abandoned his treatment following public protests by Zimbabweans at the hospital he was supposedly admitted at and returned to Zimbabwe to attend a cabinet meeting on Tuesday 5 February 2019. Chiwenga appeared on ZBC News to show alive and well. Chiwenga appeared visibly sick and Zimbabweans noted a significant change in appearance from weeks earlier.

On the 7 February 2019, it was reported that he had been flown to India to seek further treatment. His ailment was not disclosed. He returned to Zimbabwe on 23 February 2019. He appeared publicly on 27 February 2019 on the welcome of Botswana president to Zimbabwe for bilateral agreement signing. Chiwenga appeared well.[2]

Chiwenga appears on TV on 5 February saying he was well

Personal Information

Constantino Guveya Chiwenga was born on 25 August 1956 in Wedza, Mashonaland East Province. [3] He attended St Mary's Secondary School (Wedza) in Hwedza for his education together with the likes of Perence Shiri.[4]

Marriage to Jocelyn Mauchaza

Chiwenga was married to Jocelyn Mauchaza from 1998 to 2010.

Marriage to Marry Mubaiwa

Chiwenga later married Marry Mubaiwa, a former model and the former wife of Shingi Kaondera.

It was ruled that the marriage between Constantino Chiwenga and Marry Mubaiwa ceased to exist in 2019 when the former army general gave her a US$100 divorce token.

Justice Owen Tagu, however, said issues pertaining to the custody care and control and access to the children, maintenance for spouse and child, division of matrimonial home and division of other matrimonial assets have to still be settled in civil suits which can only be heard when Mubaiwa is able to pursue the matters.

The judge ruled that the marriage between Chiwenga and Mubaiwa was the unregistered customary law union, which was terminated on 24 November 2019 after Mubaiwa was given “gupuro”, divorce token in the Shona culture.

The ruling came after Chiwenga, through his lawyer Advocate Lewis Uriri instructed by Wilson Manase of Manase and Manase, filed an urgent chamber application for an order terminating the customary union between him and Mubaiwa.

Justice Owen Tagu granted the order but said he confined himself only to the declaration sought in the chamber application.

Chiwenga, through his lawyers, argued he gave Mubaiwa a divorce token, thereby terminating the union between them in terms of the African law and custom.

Mubaiwa, through her lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, said the gupuro was given to her in United States currency which she refused to accept as that currency could no longer be lawfully transacted in Zimbabwe.

Mubaiwa, however, could not say that the customary union had not ended. She accepted that it had terminated, but blamed Chiwenga for its demise.

Justice Tagu ruled that he saw nothing that could prevent him from granting the order sought, that is, to grant a declaratory order that the customary union between Chiwenga and Mubaiwa ended on 24 November 2019.

Chiwenga and Mubaiwa have three children together, two boys and a girl.[5]

Marriage to Miniyothabo Baloyi

Chiwenga married his long-time lover Miniyothabo Baloyi, a colonel in the Zimbabwe National Army. The union was announced by the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda on 15 June 2022. They had reportedly exchanged their vows during a private ceremony attended by family and a few friends on 12 June 2022.[6]

On 23 December 2023, Chiwenga and Baloyi solemnised their marriage at a ceremony held at St Gerard’s Roman Catholic Church in Borrowdale, Harare before the wedding reception at the Venue Umwinzii.

The wedding was attended by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa, Vice President Kembo Mohadi, Cabinet Ministers, former First Lady Grace Mugabe, former Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, senior members of the security services, senior ZANU PF officials, and several members of the diplomatic community.

Army generals from South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania and Namibia formed Chiwenga’s bridal team.[6]

Zimbabwe National Army commander Lieutenant-General Anselem Sanyatwe, retired Lieutenant-General Engelbert Rugeje, and several retired and serving army commanders were present.[7]

"Notable" absentees, included outgoing Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Valerio Sibanda, Air Marshall Elson Moyo and Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga.

Namibian retired military commander, Epaphras Denga Ndaitwah, was Chiwenga’s best man. Ndaitwah (71) is a Namibian diplomat and former military commander. His wife, Nandi-Ndaitwah Netumbo, is Namibia’s Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister of International Relations And Cooperation and the current SWAPO (Namibia’s ruling party) vice president.


Constantino attended St Marys School which he left at form three to attend the Second Chimurenga. [8] He attained a Doctorate of Philosophy Degree in Ethics from the University of KwaZulu Natal. [9]

Involvement in the Liberation Struggle

Chiwenga joined the nationalist movements in 1973. It was reported that he absconded from school whilst he was in Form Three together with Perence Shiri after they decided to join the liberation movements during the Second Chimurenga. [4] He joined the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA), which was the military wing of the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU PF) which is currently led by Mugabe.

After joining the liberation struggle, Chiwenga went to Mozambique where it was reported that he received military training. His nom de Guerre was Dominic Kanenge. Chiwenga rose through the ranks within ZANLA. He became a Provincial Commander for Masvingo/Gaza Province and was deputized by George Chiweshe.[4] In 1978, he was promoted to become a member of the ZANU PF’S High Command. He was tasked to be the Deputy Political Commissar and his commander was Josiah Tungamirai.

Military and Political Career

After 1980, he was attested into the newly formed Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) as a Brigadier commanding First Brigade in Bulawayo. He was promoted to become a Major General. In 1994, he became a Lieutenant General. He became the commander of the ZDF when General Vitalis Zvinavashe retired in 2004.[4] Chiwenga is also the commander of the Joint Operations Command (JOC) together with Augustine Chihuri, Perence Shiri, Philip Valerio Sibanda and Paradzai Zimondi

Presidential ambitions

During the period of turmoil within Zanu-PF, in which it was reported that they were two factions, the one led by the ousted Joice Mujuru and the other one led by Emmerson Mnangagwa, Chiwenga was pointed out as being the third factor embroiled within the succession dispute. It was reported that Chiwenga was eyeing to be Mugabe’s successor and his ascendancy to the presidium was to subsequently lead to the creation of Constantine’s Empire.[10] It was reported that Chiwenga had long been eliminating individuals he viewed as obstacles obstructing him to achieve his intended goals. He was said to be the brains behind Shiri’s assassination attempt (December 2008) as well as killing Solomon Mujuru.[11]

Responding to these allegations leveled against him, Chiwenga was reported to have stated that senior Zanu PF officials who were power hungry were tarnishing his image as well as the image of the ZDF. He stated that the ZDF’s role was and is to protect the civilians as well as to safeguard the country from internal and external attacks.[12] Chiwenga had however announced his allegiance to Mugabe when the former was being inaugurated as the head of the state in August 2013 after winning the July 31st elections.[13]

Involvement In Politics While Still Army General

Although Chiwenga argues that the ZDF is non-partisan, the ZDF was reported to have interfered with political issues. Some members of the ZNA have accused Chiwenga of lacking military expertise, thus calling him a political general and not fit to be called a military general. Brigadier General Herbert Chingono and Brigadier Fidelis Chingono were reported to have stated that Chiwenga devotes most of his time dealing with political issues. They opined that he starts work at 7. 30 am and he knocks off at 10 pm, attending to political issues.[14] The two also stated that Chiwenga never received any military training, stating that he only did a mid-level military course of which he never completed the course.[14]

In May 2017, General Chiwenga warned sections of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association to stop belittling the then President Robert Mugabe, telling them that they would be sent to where they belong. Chiwenga described the war veterans as nobodies. Chiwenga also said he was justified in meddling in politics, despite the fact that Section 212 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe states that the core business of the Defence Forces is to uphold the Constitution among other responsibilities,

Chiwenga was quoted as saying

This must now stop, or we are going to send them to where they belong. If they want to remain as part and parcel of those disciplined, loyal, patriotic cadres, they must now understand that it is the party, it is the government that sets the direction.

...Some will ask why I am speaking about these issues, they will talk of separation of the military from politics in the Constitution. I went to the struggle — that will not change. You cannot change history. We went out there. We are also cadres. We rose through the ranks.

I am not only Commander of the Defence Forces, but also I was their commander there in the struggle. And the defence of this country, the security of this country — because the security services, be they the President’s Department, be they the Police, be they the Prisons and Correctional Services — they are combatants.[15]

In November 2017 the Army Commander released a press statement that the army would intervene. In The press statement, General Constantino Chiwenga was reported to have warned politicians in the ruling Zanu-PF party to stop purging heroes of the Second Chimurenga Liberation War or the military would be forced to step in. General Chiwenga reportedly warned the politicians to stop denigrating the military and security services. This followed after President Robert Mugabe had dismissed his deputy and longtime aide, former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa.[16]

Role In November 2017 Coup

After the press statement, an operation dubbed Operation Restore Legacy was led by the General. This followed the resignation of Robert Mugabe after being president for 37 years. Chiwenga received public admiration as he was credited for the takeover. Restore Legacy, How it unfolded

Breaking:Army Commander General Chiwenga press conference on latest Developments

Appointment as Vice President

On Monday 18 December, it was announced that General Constantino Chiwenga is to leave the ‘army’ (the Zimbabwe Defence Forces), and awaits deployment to a new position.
General Philip Valerio Sibanda is to leave as commander of the Zimbabwe National Army and will replace Chiwenga as commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri, retirement is also announced. [17]

On the 23rd of December 2017, the President and First Secretary of Zanu-PF Emmerson Mnangagwa appointed Retired General Constantino Dominic Nyikadzino Guvheya Chiwenga as Vice President and Second Secretary of Zanu-PF political party.[18] Chiwenga And Kembo Mohadi Appointed Vice Presidents

Health Problems

Skin Bleaching Allegations

In 2018, Social Media went crazy about Chiwenga s' seemingly lighter skin. People alleged that Chiwenga together with his wife Marry were using skin lightening products popularly know as bleaching. Photos of a darker and a lighter Chiwenga circulated with the jokes about his alleged bleaching.

In May 2018. at his sister's burial Chiwenga defended himself and his wife saying

Today we want to set the record straight on one issue now that journalists are here.

“When we did our operation to normalise things in the country, I was with General (Philip Valerio) Sibanda and many others, they are brave men indeed. “We also informed vaMatanga (then Deputy Commissioner-General of Police) about the plan,” “It was during that time that I fell ill. I had this skin sickness (nhuta) that affected my whole body from beneath my feet to my back and the journalists started saying I was using skin lightening creams, but that was not the case. I was sick.

It was then that my (late) sister Margaret approached Sister Redemptor (Roman Catholic nun) and was given herbs that I began taking until I was healed. But before I took the medication they also prayed for me.


2019 Health Problems

On 3 February 2019, Chiwenga had to be flown to a Cape Town medical facility after a health emergency. It was not disclosed what the ailment was. Chiwenga was forced to prematurely abandon his treatment in South Africa 2 days later following public protests. After attending a Cabinet meeting on 5 February in Harare where he looked gaunt and pale, he told the state broadcaster ZBC that he was well, and accused the media of wishing him dead.

Chiwenga speaks about his health

On 7 February, Chiwenga was flown out to India to continue treatment. The government was initially silent about his whereabouts and health condition but on 10 February, the then Deputy Information Minister, Energy Mutodi acknowledged that Vice President Constantino Chiwenga was indeed in India where he is receiving treatment for an abdominal ailment.

On 16 February 2019, President Mnangagwa also acknowledged that Chiwenga was ill and receiving treatment in India. He returned to Zimbabwe on 23 February 2019.

On 23 November 2019 the VP returned home after a successful operation in China and was welcomed back by the Chinese Deputy Ambassador Zhao Baogang at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport and his relatives.[20]


  • In the early 1980s, he tried to commit suicide after he failed a military examination.[4]
  • In November 2017 the Retired General sued Jonathan Moyo for defamation of character. The $5 million lawsuits emanated from a press statement issued by Moyo on 9 July 2017 insinuating that Chiwenga did not earn his doctorate degree with the University of KwaZulu Natal, but someone wrote his thesis on his behalf.Chiwenga sues Jonathan Moyo for defamation .
  • Name Change: With effect from the 20th of June 2016, the general changed his name from Constantine Chiwenga to Constantino Guveya Dominic Nyikadzino Chiwenga.


Publicised divorce

Chiwenga’s marriage with Jocelyn began to crumble in 2010. Chiwenga left his matrimonial home in April 2010 stating that his wife was violent and he was running away for his dear life. He argued that his wife would beat him after she would have sedated him.[22] Jocelyn, however, argued that Chiwenga was abusive.[23] She stated that,

I regret ever marrying him. If l had known he was an abusive husband like this l would not have married him. I don’t care now. I am out of his system [23]

The divorce case exposed the wealth that Chiwenga amassed from 2002 up to date.[24] In September 2014, he evicted his former wife from the family’s Dockson Farm in Goromonzi.[25] His former wife also confirmed that she was receiving threatening messages from unknown callers who were warning her to vacate from her Borrowdale Brooke mansion.[23] Jocelyn also stated that she found juju and an assortment of items used for ritual purposes after a safe was opened in one of the rooms in Chiwenga’s house in Borrowdale Brooke.[26]

Most of the couples’ properties were registered in the name of companies and below is a summary of their wealth.

  • The couple owned Blue Chip Stamp Company (Pvt) Ltd which owned a property at 5 Rosary Close, Quinnington, Borrowdale measuring 5 701 square meters.
  • They also owned Lighthouse Investments (Pvt) Ltd which owned four industrial units in Willowvale, with each unit measuring

3 850 square meters and Liversay Investments (Pvt) Ltd which owns a property at 614 Prince Drive in Borrowdale Brook measuring 4 817 square meters.

  • In addition, the Chiwengas owned Hidcote Investment (Pvt) Ltd which owns a property at 79 Follyjon Crescent measuring 4 955 square meters and Grandi Lodge Sixty One (Pvt) which owns a house on a 1 692 square meters stand in Borrowdale Brooke.
  • They also owned Quacker Investments, which owns stand 103 Shawasha Hills residential estate.
  • The Chiwengas owned Yolsac Safaris (Pvt) Ltd which trades as Kazungula Wildlife Safaris as well as Ventilux (Pvt) Ltd, which has since folded.
  • The couple also owned an apartment in Malaysia and a house at 9 Msasa Drive in Msasa Park.
  • In addition, the couple owned Dokson Investments which spearheaded operations at their farm in Goromonzi. Chiwenga was allocated the farm under the government’s land reform programme.

They also own stand 539 Borrowdale Brooke measuring 1 456 meters squared as well as Dominicus Investments (Pvt) Ltd which owns an industrial stand in Marondera.

  • The couple owned property at 34 Lythan Drive in Glen Lorne and a vacant piece of land at Mermaids Pool about 42 kilometers from Harare.
  • Apart from the properties, the couple also owned motor vehicles, among them, a Prado, Jeep, Toyota Land Cruiser V8, Mercedes Benz C180, Land Rover Defender and a Land Rover Discovery 4.
  • They had an impressive list of jewellery, among them, gold bracelets encrusted with diamonds, gold rings encrusted with diamonds, four gold watches with a 36-karat diamond, three gold chains with diamond pendants, gold choker with a center diamond and two gold bangles encrusted with diamonds.
  • The Chiwengas had 40 gold watches, white gold rings, four white gold chokers, choker Jackie Kennedy pearls and bracelet pearls, 10 gold anklet, an emerald ring, pearl ring encrusted with a 24-karat diamond, forty-eight gold broaches and a set of gold earrings and chain with diamonds.
  • They also had 45 sets of diamond earrings, diamond tiara, blue diamond ring, diamond and emerald necklace, emerald cocktail ring, yellow diamond ring, diamond engagement rings, emerald rings and men’s Rolex watches.
  • The court awarded most of the immovable property to Chiwenga including property at 5 Rosary Close, Quinnington, 79 Follyjon Crescent, stand 332 Borrowdale Brooke, Ventilux (Pvt) Ltd, Chakoma Farm, Marondera Industrial stand and part of Mermaids Pool, 3 850 square metre stand where Ventilux operated from on stand 181 in Willowvale and similar stand where C&J (Pvt) Ltd operated from.
  • He was given 85% share of 614 Price Drive, the couple’s matrimonial home, and stand 103 Chishawasha Hills, weapons, and several hunting trophies.
  • Jocelyn was awarded the house in Glen Lorne and the second house on stand 332 Borrowdale Brooke which she had already disposed of.

She also got the 3 850 square meter stand from where her company Zimsafe operated from and a similar industrial unit which the couple was leasing. She also received two properties in Borrowdale Brooke.

  • She was given most of the property in the master bedroom, five bedrooms, kitchen and master bathroom at their matrimonial home.
  • She was also awarded seven vehicles among them a jeep, Toyota Land Cruiser V8, two Mercedes Benz, Land Rover Defender, Land Rover Discovery and a Toyota Hiace.[27]


  1. Nick Mangwana, [1], Twitter, Published: 4 August, 2020, Accessed: 4 August, 2020
  2. Pictures: Chiwenga Makes Public Appearance Following Treatment In India, Pindula News, Published: 27 Feb 2019, Retrieved:28 Feb 2019
  3. Constantine Chiwenga, AFRICA CONFIDENTIAL, Published: 2010, Retrieved: 19 Jan 2015
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Geoffrey Nyarota, Shiri's assassination attempt was a hoax, The Zimbabwe Situation, published:6 Jan 2009, retrieved:19 January 2015"
  5. TONY KAROMBO, Marry Mubaiwa blasts ‘beast’ Chiwenga after 17 months without access to children, ZimLive, Published: March 5, 2021, Retrieved: April 28, 2021
  6. 6.0 6.1 For better or for worse: Chiwenga marries long-time soldier lover, ZimLive, Published: 15 June 2022, Retrieved: 30 December 2023 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "ZimLive" defined multiple times with different content
  7. Owen Gagare, Hidden political intrigue of Chiwenga’s wedding, The NewsHawks, Published: 27 December 2023, Retrieved: 30 December 2023
  8. Chiwenga: Authoring end of Mugabe tyranny , , Published:16 November 2017 , Retrieved: 20 December 2017
  9. General Chiwenga attains a PhD, joins Dr. Grace Mugabe, Dr. Mujuru and others, Published:10 May 2015, Retrieved:14 November 2017
  10. Rodrick Mugabe, Only Chiwenga, Mnangagwa Can Rule Zimbabwe, Zim Eye, published:7 Oct 2014,retrieved:19 January 2015"
  11. Fortune Tazvida, Chiwenga ordered Mujuru assassination, Nehanda Radio, published:13 Jan 2012, retrieved:19 January 2015"
  12. Lovemore Chikova, Chiwenga speaks on ZANU-PF fights, The Herald, published:15 Sep 2014, retrieved:19 January 2015"
  13. General Constantine Chiwenga pledges allegiance to Mugabe, Bulawayo24 News, published:22 Aug 2013,retrieved:19 January 2015"
  14. 14.0 14.1 WIKILEAKS: Chiwenga a political General, says ZNA officers, ZimEye, published:3 Sep 2011, retrieved:19 January 2015"
  15. This nonsense must now end!, Herald, published: 02 May 2017,Retrieved:4 May 2017"
  16. Marick Matara (13 November 2017). "Updated: General Chiwenga's Statement Warning Zanu-PF To Stop Purging Liberation War Stalwarts, Warns Military Will Not Hesitate To Step In". Pindula. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  17. Zimbabwe General Who Ousted Mugabe To Quit Army, Business Focus, Published: 19 December 2017, Retrieved: 12 December 2019
  18. [2], BREAKING: Chiwenga, Mohadi appointed vice presidents , Published: 23 December 2017 , Retrieved: 23 December 2017
  19. "Chiwenga opens up on complexion". The Herald. May 9, 2018. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  20. Twitter, [3], 'Zimpapers Twitter', Published: 23 November 2019, Retrieved: 23 November 2019
  21. Gen Chiwenga changes name, Herald, published:30 July 2016,retrieved:4 May 2017"
  22. Wife beatings drove me from home: Chiwenga, New Zimbabwe, published:11 Oct 2012,retrieved19 January 2015:"
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Ex-wife exposes Chiwenga, The Standard, published:5 Oct 2014,retrieved:19 January 2015"
  24. Chiwengas’ vast wealth exposed, Zimbabwe Independent, published:19 Sep 2014,retrieved:19 January 2015"
  25. Chiwenga evicts estranged wife from farm, Newsday, published:12 Sep 2014, retrieved:19 January 2014"
  26. Juju rocks divorce saga, The Zimbabwean, published:7 Oct 2014, retrieved:19 January 2015"
  27. "Chiwengas' vast wealth exposed". Zimbabwe Independant. September 19, 2014. Retrieved November 14, 2017.

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