VP Chiwenga’s nursing school shut down…as factionalism gnaws Zanu PF 

Source: VP Chiwenga’s nursing school shut down…as factionalism gnaws Zanu PF –Newsday Zimbabwe

GOVERNMENT has shut down a nursing school that was established by Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga in Chikomba district, Mashonaland East province amid reports that Zanu PF factional fights were disrupting its operations.

The nursing school in Chivhu was established when Chiwenga was doubling up as the Health and Child Care minister.



The nursing school was the brainchild of Chiwenga’s then deputy, John Mangwiro, who at the time was Chikomba West legislator, in what was largely viewed as a campaign gimmick to retain the parliamentary seat.

Chiwenga officially opened the nursing school in 2021.

Mangwiro, however, lost the seat to Tatenda Mavetera during Zanu PF primaries early last year.

Mavetera, who is reportedly President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ally, won the seat in the disputed August 2023 elections. She is the current Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services minister.


NewsDay has since established that Zanu PF rival camps aligned to Chiwenga and Mnangagwa had taken their factional fights to the nursing school as they battle to control enrolment at the institution.

The ructions resulted in the nursing school enrolling more than 150 students seconded by both factions, 15 times more than the school’s carrying capacity of 10, resulting in overcrowding and compromising established Nursing Council of Zimbabwe (NCZ) training standards.


NewsDay has gathered that the government recently ordered the closure of the school after it was established that its operations were below standard.


Students, who had been enrolled at the school, have since been transferred to other learning facilities, Health and Child Care deputy minister Sleiman Timios Kwidini said.

“It’s not being shut down as such. The problem was that the school was now congested and the students were no longer learning properly,” Kwidini told NewsDay.

“It needs to be upgraded so that it has better capacity for training. We want to expand and open more schools and Chivhu is one of them. It should be proper. For now, it can’t accommodate 10 pupils.”

Kwidini, said the school had been “temporarily” closed until it regularised its operations.

“In preparation for a proper structure, the enrolled students have been transferred and some have been transferred to Marondera and other schools,” he said.

“We want it to be a bigger school in line with the President’s vision of 2030. The proper description of the development is that it has been temporarily closed for renovation.”

According to a report produced by the Health ministry following a verification visit to the nursing school, the school was unlawfully established. The report, seen by NewsDay, also raised concern over the over-enrolment of students.

“The school was approved for training 10 Registered General Nurses (RGNs) subject to fulfilling NCZ requirements,” part of the report read.

“However, from the tutor-in-charge, the school has been functioning since June 7, 2021 training in accident and emergency without a Statutory Instrument — the Training Regulations and approval of NCZ.”

Mangwiro refused to comment on the matter.

“I am no longer in government. If it was shut down then so be it. I don’t have a say,” he said.

Mavetera was not answering her mobile phone when we tried to contact her for comment.  A government official told NewsDay that a director in the Health ministry was under fire for approving the nursing school’s establishment.

“There is currently an inquiry as to why the ministry approved the nursing school when it did not have the necessary requirements and the director (name supplied) is currently under fire over that,” the official told NewsDay in confidence.

“The last time he was summoned for questioning over the issues, he argued that the former Health minister (Chiwenga) approved it and he acted on his orders.”