Murerwa short bio


The United States embassy which had described Herbert Murerwa as a decent but ineffective minister when he was removed from Finance to Higher Education, published a short biography of Murerwa when he was reappointed Finance Minister after the sacking of Simba Makoni.

The embassy said Murerwa a Harvard graduate with a PhD in educational planning had no economic expertise, meaning that that he was better qualified for the ministry that he had been removed from.


Full cable:


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Reference ID






2002-08-29 05:40

2011-08-30 01:44


Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 HARARE 001982









E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/29/2012






Classified By: Political Officer Kimberly Jemison for reasons: 1.5 (b)

and (d).


1. (C) Reftel reported President Mugabe’s August 24 cabinet

reshuffle. As promised reftel, we provide below additional

biographic information on the new appointees (we have not

included cabinet members who retained the same portfolios):


——————————————— ————

Ministry of Energy and Power Development

——————————————— ————

Amos Bernard Muvenga Midzi is the new Minister for this

Ministry resulting from the division of the Ministry of Mines

and Energy. Amos Midzi has had a long career in government

and most recently has served as ZANU-PF Provincial Chairman

for Harare since April 2001. Prior to that, Midzi served as

ambassador to the U.S. from 1993 to 1999 and Ambassador to

Cuba from 1987 to 1993. Midzi was elected to Parliament in

1980 and served until the mid-1980s. From 1982-84, he served

as the Deputy Minister of Transport and from 1984-87 as the

Deputy Minister of Youth, Sport, and Culture. He was also a

member of the ZANU-PF Central Committee from 1984-89.


Midzi began his studies at the University of Rhodesia in 1974

but was subsequently arrested for participation in liberation

activities and spent 3 years in political detention. Midzi

later returned to the University and received a degree in

sociology in 1979. He was born on July 4, 1952. He is

married (Alice) and has three children. He is a member of

the Zezuru ethnic group*the same as Mugabe.


Reuben Marumahoko, Deputy Minister: Reuben Marumahoko was MP

for Hurungwe East before becoming Deputy Minister. His seat

was one challenged and won by the MDC in the High Court but

no by-election has yet been held.   He is a businessman and

is married. He is a ZANU-PF branch political commissar. He

has an O level education and a diploma in business

management. Marumahoko was born on April 4, 1948.


——————————————— ————–

Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development

——————————————— ————–

Sithembiso Nyoni is the Minister of this newly created

Ministry. Mugabe elevated the former Informal Sector

department in the president,s office, which Nyoni headed, to

a full ministry in order to boost the informal sector with

facilities and financial support.


Nyoni is from Bulawayo’s Makokoba constituency and was born

on 20 September 1949. She is married. Prior to being

elected to Parliament in 1994, she was a teacher, development

consultant, and a lecturer. She has worked in rural

development and in women in development. She has a diploma

in rural and social development, an advanced diploma in adult

education, and a M.A. in rural social development.


Kenneth Kaparadza Mutiwekuziva, Deputy Minister: Kenneth

Mutiwekuziva was a MP from Mashonaland East prior to assuming

this position. He has a diploma in education, Administration

and Policy Studies. He is married and was born on May 27,



——————————————— ————–

Ministry of Mines and Mining Development

——————————————— ————–

Edward Chindori-Chininga, who was the Minister of Mines and

Energy, will head this Ministry. Its focus is to resuscitate

closed mines and assist those facing operational

difficulties. The Ministry will also ensure that small-scale

miners (gold panners) are organized, do not damage the

environment, and sell their product to the Reserve Bank and

not on the black market. It will also explore marble,

granite, diamond, and platinum mining. Chindori-Chininga’s

wife, Linda, is an American citizen from Houston.



Ministry of State for Special Affairs

——————————————— –

John Landa Nkomo, an Ndebele, is the head of this newly

formed sub-ministry. There is no indication of what his new

responsibilities will be but Brian Raftopoulos, one of

Zimbabwe,s most perceptive political analysts, thought the

assignment could be a prelude to the Vice Presidency. It

could be a way to disengage him from day-to-day ministerial

responsibilities and give him a chance to acquire a broader

perspective in preparation for his new duties. Nkomo was the

Minister of Home Affairs prior to this appointment. He is

still the ZANU-PF National Chair. John Nkomo was born on

August 22, 1934 and is married.


——————————————— ————–

Ministry of State, Science and Technology Development

——————————————— ————–

Olivia Muchena is the Minister of this new office created to

help the government address the development of science and

technology. Olivia Muchena was formerly the Minister of

State in VP Msika,s Office. She has also served as Deputy

Minister of Agriculture. She has spent a large part of her

career in education and working in the NGO world. In the

past, she was considered a respected technocrat with

political savvy and a sensible proponent of indigenization

and economic liberalization, but we have had little recent

contact with her.


Muchena participated in the liberation struggle both as a

student activist at the University of Rhodesia and as a

member and chairperson of ZANU branches in Edinburgh (UK) and

Rochester-Syracuse-Ithaca, New York.


She received a Ph.D. in Agricultural Education (extension)

from Iowa State University in 1990, a M.S. in Extension and

Rural Development from Cornell in 1977, and a B.A. from

University College of Rhodesia in 1970. Olivia Muchena was

born on August 18, 1946.


——————————————— ———-

Ministry of Transport and Communications

——————————————— ———-

Witness Pasichigare Magunda Mangwende is the new Minister

replacing Swithun Mombeshora. Prior to his appointment,

Mangwende was serving as ZANU-PF,s deputy secretary for

administration. He has held several ministerial positions,

including Minister of Lands, Agriculture, and Rural

Resettlement; Minister of Education and Culture; and Minister

of Foreign Affairs from 1981-87.


Mangwende studied for his doctorate in international

relations at the London School of Economics during the years

of national struggle. He was the President of ZANU,s

Zimbabwe Student Union. For his undergraduate education, he

first attended the University of Rhodesia from 1970 to 1973

but was expelled. He subsequently attended the University of

Southampton in England where he received a B.A. in

International Relations.


Mangwende was born on October 15, 1946 in Charter. He is

married and has no children. Mangwende may have a drinking




Ministry of Home Affairs


Kembo Mohadi is the new Minister replacing John Nkomo. He

was promoted from Deputy Minister of Local Government, Public

Works, and National Housing.


Mohadi is a former member of ZIPRA (Zimbabwe African

People,s Revolutionary Army), the armed wing of PF ZAPU

during the war. He is currently in the middle of an ongoing

murder investigation involving his wife,s &alleged8 lover.

Some within law enforcement and the victim,s family feel

the investigation will be undermined because Mohadi is now in

charge of the police force. As mentioned in reftel, Mohadi

has intervened personally to try to exert control over NGO

food distribution efforts.


Mohadi was born on November 15, 1949.


——————————————— ————–

Ministry of Finance and Economic Development

——————————————— ————–

Herbert Murerwa is the new Minister replacing Simba Makoni.

He was moved from the Ministry of Industry and International

Trade to take over the position of Minister of Finance and

Economic Development, a position he previously held from

1996-2000. He was the Minister of Industry and Commerce from

1995 to 1996; appointed the Minister of Environment and

Tourism in 1990; and was the High Commissioner to the UK from



Murerwa received a Ph.D. from Harvard in educational planning

but he has no economic expertise. Murerwa was born in 1941.

He and his wife, Ruth, have 5 children.


——————————————— ———–

Ministry of Industry and International Trade

——————————————— ———–

Samuel Mumbengegwi is the new Minister replacing Herbert

Murerwa. Samuel Mumbengegwi was moved from the Minsitry of

Higher Education and Technology.


Kenneth Manyonda, Deputy Minister: Kenneth Manyonda was an MP

from Buhera South before becoming Deputy Minister. MDC

leader Morgan Tsvangirai lost the 2000 parliamentary election

to Manyonda, but won his High Court challenge of Manyonda’s

victory. The GOZ has not yet fulfilled its obligation to

schedule a re-run of this election. Manyonda was governor of

Manicaland prior to the Parliamentary elections. Manyonda

was born on August 10, 1934.


——————————————— —

Ministry of Health and Child Welfare

——————————————— —

David Parirenyatwa is the new Minister replacing Timothy

Stamps. David Parirenyatwa had been Deputy Minister of

Health and Child Welfare since 1998 but had been Acting

Minister since Stamps’ illness. Parirenyatwa was elected

into the ZANU-PF provincial executive in 1989 and in 1994 was

appointed a ZANU-PF Central Committee Member. In November

1997, he won the Parliamentary by-election for Murehwa North

and became a Member of Parliament the following month.


Parirenyatwa, born on August 2, 1950, is the eldest son of

legendary Zimbabwe nationalist Dr. Samuel Parirenyatwa,

Zimbabwe,s first black doctor. He seems to be

well-connected but is a silent tye. He has a M.D., a B.SC.

in chemistry from the University of London, and a M.B. BSC

from Lagos University. He is married and has 3 children.


——————————————— ————

Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education

——————————————— ————-

Swithun Tachiona Mombeshora is the new Minister replacing

Samuel Mumbengegwi. Swithun Mombeshora was moved from the

Ministry of Transport and Communications. Mombeshora has

been in government since independence. After receiving an

undergraduate degree in 1972 from University College of

Rhodesia, received a medical degree from University of

Birmingham in the mid-1970s. He practiced medicine full-time

until becoming a Member of Parliament for Makonde North in

1980. In 1981, he was appointed Deputy Minister of

Agriculture and in 1985 he was moved to Deputy Minister of

Lands, Agriculture, and Rural Resettlement. From 1988 to

1990 he was the Deputy Minister of Health and in 1990 he was

appointed Minister of State for Local Government, Rural and

Urban Development. In 1998, he became Minister of State in

the President,s Office.

Mombeshora was born on August 20, 1945. He and his wife,

Lucy, have 3 sons and 3 daughters.


——————————————— ————–

Ministry of State for State Enterprises and Parastatals

——————————————— ————–

Paul Mangwana is the new Minister. Paul Mangwana, who had

been the Deputy Justice Minister since July 2001, assumes

this position. In July 2000, he became the ZANU-PF MP for

Kadoma. He is on the ZANU-PF legal committee.


We have had limited dealings with Mangwana over the last year

but he seemed to have moderate views and to be trying to

silently influence the old guard in ZANU-PF. He will not

openly challenge senior officials and is more apt to tow the

party line. Mangwana is a lawyer by training. He is

married, has 4 children (3 sons and 1 daughter), and was born

on August 10, 1961.


——————————————— —

Ministry of State for Land Reform

——————————————— —

Flora Bhuka is the new Minister. Bhuka, one of the youngest

MPs in Parliament, was formerly the Minister of State in VP

Muzenda,s office before assuming this position. Bhuka won

the 2000 Parliamentary seat for Gokwe East after successfully

beating out the incumbent in the primary. Before becoming a

MP, Bhuka was political commissar (since 1997) and from

1990-1995, she was a teacher in the Midlands region. She is

a gender activist and an advocate for modernizing the

educational system. Flora Bhuka is 34 years old and was born

in Gokwe. She is not married and has 2 children.


——————————————— ————–

Ministry of local Government, Public Works, and National


——————————————— ————–

Chief Fortune Charumbira is the new Deputy Minister. Chief

Fortune Charumbira was the Masvingo chiefs, representative

in Parliament prior to becoming Deputy Minister. He is an

outspoken supporter of the land redistribution exercise. He

is married and was born on June 10, 1962.


——————————————— ————–

Ministry of Rural Resources and Water Development

——————————————— ————–

Tinos Rusere is the new Deputy Minister. Tinos Rusere was MP

of Zaka East (one of the country’s most violent districts in

the period preceding the presidential election) before

becoming Deputy Minister. He is an outspoken supporter of

the land redistribution exercise. He has an O level

education with diplomas in civil engineering, mining, and

personnel management. His interests include going to church

and listening to gospel music. Rusere was born on May 10,



——————————————— ————

Ministry of Mines and Mining Development

——————————————— ————

Jaison Max Kokerai Machaya is the new Deputy Minister.

Jaison Machaya was an MP from Gokwe South before becoming

Deputy Minister. He is married, has an O level education,

and was born on June 13, 1952.




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