Sydney Sekeramayi

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Sydney Sekeramayi

Minister of Defence
In office
11 September 2013 – 27 November 2017
PresidentRobert Mugabe
Preceded byEmmerson Mnangagwa
Succeeded byKembo Mohadi
In office
2001 – 13 February 2009
PresidentRobert Mugabe
Preceded byMoven Mahachi
Succeeded byEmmerson Mnangagwa
Minister of State for National Security in the President's Office
In office
13 February 2009 – 11 September 2013
PresidentRobert Mugabe
Preceded byDidymus Mutasa
Succeeded byKembo Mohadi
Personal details
Born (1944-03-30) 30 March 1944 (age 75)
Political partyZANU PF

Sydney Tigere Sekeramayi (born 30 March 1944[1]) is a Zimbabwean politician who served in the government of Zimbabwe as Minister of Defence between 2013 and 2017. He has been a minister in the Cabinet since independence in 1980, serving as Minister of Defence from 2001 to 2009 and Minister of State Security from 2009 to 2013.

During the Rhodesian Bush War, Sekeramayi was the Zimbabwe African National Union's representative in Sweden. After the war he served as the Minister of National Security, Deputy Secretary of Health Minister for National Security, and Minister for Transport and Welfare.[2][3][4][5][6]

It was announced on November 27, 2017 that the Zimbabwe cabinet had been dissolved by Mugabe's successor Emmerson Mnangagwa.[7]

Life and career[edit]

In Rhodesia his school expelled him. He moved to Czechoslovakia to study on an NDP scholarship with help from Rupiah Banda, the International Secretary of the Zambia Students Union. Banda established contact between Sekeramayi and the NIB. In June 1964 he moved from Czechoslovakia to Lund, Sweden, on an NIB scholarship. He studied genetics at the University of Lund, became ZANU's representative in Sweden, and then attended medical school.[3] In Lund he studied with Alexander Chikwanda of the United National Independence Party of Zambia.[8]

In 1969 Sekeramayi requested assistance from SIDA in his function as Secretary-General of the Zimbabwe Students' Union in Europe. He coordinated Herbert Chitepo and Richard Grove's visits to Sweden.[3] In 1976 he moved to Mozambique.[3]

In the 1980s he participated in the Gukurahundi massacres.[9]

In 2001 Defense Minister Moven Mahachi died in a car crash and Sekeramayi became the new Defense Minister.[5] In 2005 William Mervin Gumede mentioned Sekeramayi as one of several leading politicians who may succeed Mugabe as President of Zimbabwe because of their support among the military.[10]

He is considered a close ally of Emmerson Mnangagwa, formerly the Speaker of Parliament,[5] and Joyce Mujuru.[11]

Sekeramayi won the House of Assembly seat from Marondera East constituency, in Mashonaland East Province, as the ZANU-PF candidate in the March 2005 parliamentary election. According to official results he defeated Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) candidate Iain Kay with 19,912 votes against Kay's 10,066 votes; this victory was questioned on the grounds that the total number of votes was said to exceed voter turnout.[12]

In the ZANU-PF primaries for the March 2008 parliamentary election, Sekeramayi again sought the party's nomination as its candidate for the House of Assembly seat from Marondera East, but was defeated.[13][14] He was instead nominated as ZANU-PF's candidate for the Senate from Marondera-Hwedza in Mashonaland East.[15] Sekeramayi won this seat according to official results, receiving 24,571 votes against 17,370 for Jane Chifamba of the MDC-Tsvangirai faction and 6,994 for Molai Penelope of the MDC-Mutambara faction.[16]

On 7 January 2009, The Herald reported that Sekeramayi had been appointed as Acting Minister of Mines and Mining Development following the dismissal of Amos Midzi, who failed to win a seat in the 2008 election.[17] When the national unity government was sworn in on 13 February 2009, Sekeramayi became Minister of State Security. He was at this point in time seen as a likely Mugabe successor who is less controversial.[18]

Following the dissolution of the Cabinet of Zimbabwe in 2017, it was announced that Mnangagwa allowed only Patrick Chinamasa and Simbarashe Mumbengegwi to remain as acting ministers of Finance and Foreign Affairs respectively until the appointment of a new cabinet.[7]


  1. ^ "Page at Zimbabwean Parliament website". Archived from the original on 29 September 2006. Retrieved 9 June 2018.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link).
  2. ^ Zimbabwe: Reports of failed coup in Zimbabwe, 11 June 2007. AllAfrica
  3. ^ a b c d Sellström, Tor. Liberation in Southern Africa: Regional and Swedish voices: Interviews from Angola, Mozambique..., 2002. Nordiska Afrikainstitutet. Page 226-230.
  4. ^ Dashwood, Hevina Smith. Zimbabwe: The Political Economy of Transformation, 2000. Page 105.
  5. ^ a b c Hill, Geoff. The Battle for Zimbabwe: The Final Countdown, 2003. Page 293.
  6. ^ Great Britain Foreign and Commonwealth Office. A Year Book of the Commonwealth, 1986. Page 426.
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ Sellstr̀eom, Tor. Sweden and National Liberation in Southern Africa, 2002. Page 323.
  9. ^ Patrick Burnett and Firoze Madatally Manji. African Voices on Development and Social Justice: Editorials from Pambazuka News 2004, 2005. Page 227.
  10. ^ Gumede, William Mervin. Thabo Mbeki and the Battle for the Soul of the ANC, 2005. Page 193.
  11. ^ Situation Report: Future power plays in Zimbabwe Institute for Security Studies
  12. ^ David Blair, "Mugabe 'conjures up' winning votes", Daily Telegraph (United Kingdom), 8 April 2005.
  13. ^ Spiwe Ncube, "Zanu (PF) heavyweights lose primary polls",, 6 February 2008.
  14. ^ Lebo Nkatazo, "Makoni humiliated as Zanu PF rejects his bid for MP" Archived 9 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine,, 5 February 2008.
  15. ^ "Zimbabwe: Zanu-PF Names Poll Candidates", The Herald (, 15 February 2008.
  16. ^ "Zimbabwe senate election results" Archived 29 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine,
  17. ^ "Mugabe appoints acting ministers: report", Sapa-AFP (IOL), 7 January 2009.
  18. ^ "Cabinet sworn in amid chaotic scenes" Archived 14 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine,, 13 February 2009.