Constantino Chiwenga, also known as Constantine Guveya Dominic Nyikadzino Chiwenga, is a prominent figure in Zimbabwe, celebrated for his multifaceted political and military roles.
Early Years and Education
Born in 1956 in the Wedza District of Mashonaland East Province, Chiwenga’s journey began in the heart of Zimbabwe. His early education at St Mary’s Mission in Hwedza laid the foundation for his future endeavours. Notable personalities like Air Marshal Perrance Shiri and Brigadier General Shungurirai were his contemporaries during his O Level studies.
Chiwenga’s academic pursuit culminated in a PhD in Ethics from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2015—a testament to his commitment to knowledge and personal growth.
In matters of the heart, Chiwenga’s life has seen various chapters. His first marriage to Jocelyn Jacobsen ended in 2012. In 2011, he entered a new union with Marry Mubaiwa, only to file for divorce in December 2019. The pages turned again in June 2022 when Chiwenga married Colonel MIniyothabo Baloyi, a serving member of the Zimbabwe National Army.
Rhodesian Bush War
Chiwenga’s journey in the military began in 1973 when he enlisted in the Rhodesian Bush War effort. Adopting the war name “Dominic Chinenge,” he rose through the ranks, eventually becoming the Provincial Commander for Masvingo/Gaza Province by 1978.
Military Career in Independent Zimbabwe
With Zimbabwe’s independence, Chiwenga transitioned to the newly established Zimbabwe National Army in 1981. His career milestones include commanding the First Brigade in Bulawayo, rising to the rank of Lieutenant General, and ultimately becoming the Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
On December 18, 2017, the Zimbabwean government announced Chiwenga’s retirement and subsequent redeployment. The very next day, he was sworn in as co-vice president of Zimbabwe.
Chiwenga’s political career reached new heights when he was appointed as the Vice President of Zimbabwe on December 28, 2017. Simultaneously, he took on the role of Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs.
In August 2020, he assumed the Minister of Health and Child Care position, further showcasing his versatility in public service.
This brief journey through Constantino Chiwenga’s life encapsulates the diverse experiences of a man who has played pivotal roles in shaping Zimbabwe’s recent history.