Felex Share Senior Reporter
Newly-appointed Vice-Presidents General Constantino Chiwenga (Retired) and Cde Kembo Mohadi were sworn-in yesterday, with President Mnangagwa saying their main task was to produce tangible results by overseeing the performance of Ministers.
The VPs took their oaths of office before Chief Justice Luke Malaba at a colourful ceremony also attended by their families and relatives at State House. President Mnangagwa said his two lieutenants brought with them vast experience which would be key in developing the nation.
“I am happy, I now have the two lieutenants. I believe they are very experienced. I will be announcing sometime this afternoon (yesterday) their assignments. Work is already cut out for them and they have to hit the ground running,” he said.
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The Head of State and Government said the VPs must be result-oriented.
“Not only that (performing) but to show results. Of course, they have to drive the Ministers. The performance of the Ministers will be reflected by the supervision they give. The assessment is upon the results of the Ministers they drive,” President Mnangagwa said.
Gen Chiwenga (Rtd) and Cde Mohadi are also Vice Presidents and Second Secretaries of the ruling party, zanu-pf. Cde Mohadi said he was prepared for the task.
“It is just an assignment like any other assignment,” he said. “I have been in Government when some of you were still young but the interesting part is that I have now been put in a place whereby I will be in a position to assist the Head of State direct the country where he wants it to go.”
On his immediate plans, Cde Mohadi said: “I have to wait for the assignments first. If he (President Mnangagwa) gives me the assignments that this is your area of operation then I will have the plans.” Gen Chiwenga (Rtd) said he believed in team work to produce the needed results.
“I feel good because I have to work for my country. Once we have been allocated the tasks to do then we go (on the ground). What I can tell you is that there will be team work,” he said.
Yesterday’s ceremony was attended by First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa, the VPs’ families and several Cabinet Ministers. Cde Mohadi was born on November 15, 1949 in Beitbridge.
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 proceeded 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 Cde Ethan Dube but was detained at Khami 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.
Gen Chiwenga (Rtd) was born on July 2, 1956 in Hwedza, Mashonaland East. He attended 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, Gen Chiwenga (Rtd) 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 April 16 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, Gen (Rtd) took over as ZDF Commander upon retirement of General Vitalis Zvinavashe.