Constantino Chiwenga, whose full name is Constantine Guveya Dominic Nyikadzino Chiwenga, was born on August 25, 1956, in the Wedza District of Mashonaland East Province, Zimbabwe. He received his early education at St Mary's Mission in Hwedza, where he completed his O Levels. Chiwenga pursued further education and earned a PhD in Ethics from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2015.
His personal life has been marked by multiple marriages and divorces. In 1998, he married Jocelyn Jacobsen (née Mauchaza), with their marriage ending in divorce in 2012. There were no children from this marriage. In 2011, while still married to Jacobsen, Chiwenga married Marry (Mary) Mubaiwa, a former model. In 2012, Marry gave birth to their first child, a son, and a year later, she bore a daughter. Chiwenga's personal life also involved a significant incident when he suffered from an undisclosed ailment in 2019, leading to a dispute involving his wife Marry, who was later charged with attempted murder. Chiwenga subsequently filed for divorce from Marry in December 2019 and married Colonel Miniyothabo Baloyi, a serving member of the Zimbabwe National Army, in June 2022.
Chiwenga's early involvement in the Rhodesian Bush War began in 1973 when he joined as a ZANLA militant and adopted the war name "Dominic Chinenge." He rose through the ranks to become a Provincial Commander for Masvingo/Gaza Province and later served as the ZANLA Deputy Political Commissar.
His military career in the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) commenced in 1981, where he initially held the rank of brigadier, commanding the First Brigade in Bulawayo. Despite facing difficulties in his military education, he continued to progress, becoming a major general and reverting to his original name, Constantine Chiwenga. He played a prominent role in the Zimbabwean Defense Forces (ZDF) and was eventually appointed as the Commander of the Zimbabwe Defense Forces upon the retirement of General Vitalis Zvinavashe in 2004. Chiwenga also chaired the Joint Operations Command, which comprised various security agencies in Zimbabwe.
Chiwenga's career intersected significantly with Zimbabwean politics. In 2017, he played a pivotal role in the bloodless coup that led to the removal of President Robert Mugabe, who had been in power for 37 years. This coup marked a significant turning point in Zimbabwean politics.
Subsequently, Chiwenga's political career continued to rise. He became the First Vice-President of Zimbabwe under President Emmerson Mnangagwa in 2017. In August 2020, he also took on the role of the Minister of Health and Child Care, adding to his political portfolio. This move raised questions regarding potential conflicts of interest, as it violated the constitution's provision that the Vice President should not hold any other public office.
Chiwenga's political journey has been marked by controversies, including alleged involvement in the 2017 coup and speculation about Chinese involvement in the events leading up to the coup. Throughout his career, he has held influential positions both in the military and in Zimbabwean politics, making him a significant figure in the country's recent history.
DATE OF BIRTH: 25th Aug 1950
TIME OF BIRTH:
PLACE OF BIRTH: Wedza District, Zimbabwe