Ex-military General, Zanu PF Political Commissar Becomes Chief of Bikita

Zanu-PF National Political Commissar Lieutenant-General Engelbert Rugeje (Retired)

ZANU-PF politburo member and Retired Lieutenant General Engelbert Rugeje has been nominated to temporarily act as Chief Charamba of Bikita following the death of his father.

Rtd Lt Gen Rugeje (58) is a Zanu PF Politburo member and once served as the ruling party’s National Political Commissar following his retirement from the army.

President Mnangagwa promoted Rtd Lt Gen Rugeje from the rank of Major General upon his retirement to enter full time politics.

His nomination to act as Chief Charamba came by virtue of him being the oldest surviving son of the late Chief Charamba, Mr Timothy Charamba.

The late substantive Chief Charamba died on July 16 last year at the age of 97.

Rtd Lt Gen Rugeje on Monday confirmed the new development, adding that the move was in line with their Duma custom.


He said the Charamba family chose him by virtue of being the oldest surviving son of the late chief.

“It is not that I have been appointed substantive chief because there are still many processes that have to be followed for one to be a substantive chief that will culminate with the seal of approval from the President,” said Rtd Lt Gen Rugeje.

“At the moment what happened was in line with the Duma traditions and customs whereby after the death of a chief there is a person who is appointed to look after the late chief’s family and responsibilities. The family sat down and agreed that as the oldest surviving son I get the appointment but it’s not a final decision as there are many processes to follow.”

The Charamba chieftainship belongs to people of the Duma clan who dominate Bikita District.

The Duma clan members in Bikita unofficially fall under the paramount chieftainship of Mazungunye a descendant of the great ancestor of the Dumas.

Rtd Lt Gen Rugeje is not the first retired army General from Bikita to become chief.

Retired Major General Gibson Mashingaidze who also hails from the same district was a few years ago appointed Chief Mkanganwi and is also part of the Duma clan.