Tsuru Mawere

Mutungamiri

Tsuru Mawere
Emmerson Mnangagwa (2019-01-15).jpg
Tsuru Mawere, 2020
1st Mutungamiri of Rwizikuru
Assumed office
7 April, 2020
MonarchMunashe Ngonidzashe
Preceded byposition established
MNA for Sangoguru kuchamhembe
Assumed office
6 April, 2020
DeputyNkwenyane Remakece
Preceded byposition established
Mutungamiri of the Rwizikuran government-in-exile
In office
1 February, 1993 – 1 February, 2003
Preceded byMuchazvireva Ngonidzashe
Succeeded byMuchazvireva Ngonidzashe
Personal details
Born
Vincent Tsuru Zvinodaishe Mawere

(1942-09-15) 15 September 1942 (age 78)
Mutupo, North Sangoguru, Riziland (present-day Rwizikuru)
NationalityEstmerish (1942-1946)
Rwizikuran (1946-present)
Political partyIndependent
Spouse(s)Chiramwiwa Mawere
Children5
Military service
Allegiance Rwizikuru
Branch/serviceArmy
Years of service1963-1981
RankBrigadier General
Battles/warsMabifian-Rwizikuran War
Garamburan War of Independence
Nativity War

Tsuru Mawere (born 15 September, 1942) is a Rwizikuran soldier, politician, and the first Mutungamiri of Rwizikuru, serving since 7 April, 2020, when he defeated rival candidate Rambwa Zvinavashe in the National Assembly.

Born to peasant farmers, he joined the Royal Rwizikuran Armed Forces in 1961, fighting in the Mabifian-Rwizikuran War, the Garamburan War of Independence, and the Nativity War, and rising to the rank of brigadier general. In 1981, he participated in a coup d'etat attempt against the reigning monarch of Rwizikuru at the time, Kupakwashe Ngonidzashe. After fleeing the country in its aftermath, he joined Muchazvireva Ngonidzashe, and in 1983 joined the Rwizikuran government-in-exile.

In exile, he would serve as an influential figure within the government-in-exile, serving as the deputy to Muchazvireva Ngonidzashe from 1988 to 1993, before becoming the head of the government-in-exile, serving from 1993 until 2003. He would then serve as deputy to Muchazvireva until 2006, when he was removed from the position in favour of Mweya Ngonidzashe. However, in the 2010s, he began to fall out with Muchazvireva Ngonidzashe, culminating in 2018 when after Muchazvireva's son, Takunda Ngonidzashe was named deputy despite Tsuru's own expectations, he retired from the government-in-exile, officially on account of old age.

After Kupakwashe Ngonidzashe abdicated to his son, Munashe Ngonidzashe, in September 2019, Tsuru Mawere was pardoned that November, and thus was allowed to return to Rwizikuru. Upon his return, Tsuru declared his intention to run for the reconstituted Rwizikuran national assembly for his home district of Sangoguru kuchamhembe, and was elected on 3 April, 2020. He was sworn in on 6 April, 2020, and was elected the following day to serve as the first Mutungamiri, and the first elected head of government since President Izibongo Ngonidzashe.

Early life

Tsuru Zvinodaishe Mawere was born in Mutupo, the district seat of North Sangoguru (present-day Sangoguru kuchamhembe) in the Estmerish colony of Riziland, as the eldest son of Tomtenda Mawere and Fudzayi Mawere, and was baptized as Vincent Mawere. As farmers, he grew up receiving little education, due to both the remoteness of Mutupo from the rest of the colony, and had to assist his parents at the farm. However, he disliked being a farmer, and felt "constricted" in his ability to improve himself. However, he did learn to read and write in the weRwizi language, and learnt some arithmetic, in order to be "useful to the farm."

In 1963, he enlisted to join the Rwizikuran Army, as he believed that it was the only way that he would be able to leave the farm in Mutupo, and get a better life. As a private, he was sent to Port Fitzhubert, where his superiors noted his high potential, especially given his physical strength, his willingness to obey orders, and his willingness to learn.

Military career

Early military career

As his superiors saw potential in Tsuru Mawere to be an officer, he was sent to the military academy in Port Fitzhubert in order to teach him the skills needed for him to become an effective officer. In addition to learning military tactics and strategies, Mawere also learnt skills that he "should have been taught in school but never were." By 1965, he was officially commissioned as a lieutenant, and was deployed to Port Vaugeois (present-day Port Tsalar, Mabifia).

During this period, he commanded platoons to help root out separatist forces in Yekumavirira, especially the Yekumavirira Liberation Movement, which at that point sought to separate Yekumavirira from the rest of Rwizikuru, and either establish an independent state, or revert to Mabifian rule. Mawere was an effective commander, although in 1967, he was wounded, and had to recuperate for several weeks in hospital.

Mabifian-Rwizikuran War

When the Mabifian-Rwizikuran War began in October 1968, Lieutenant Mawere found himself organising a defence of Yekumavirira against the invading Mabifian forces, in addition to the forces already raised by the Yekumavirira Liberation Movement. While the Rwizikuran defenders were caught off-guard by the initial attacks, on 11 October, when Mambo Izibongo Ngonidzashe finally ordered the response, Tsuru Mawere took part in some of the early battles which seemed to have given Rwizikuru an initial advantage.

However, in December, with Mabifia receiving support from Zorasan, Tsuru Mawere found himself being forced to retreat to Port Vaugeois (present-day Port Tsalar, Mabifia), in order to protect the city from a Mabifian attack. When the Battle of Port Vaugeois began on 2 March, 1969, Tsuru Mawere mounted resistance against the Mabifian forces. However, despite the Rwizikuran's familiarity with the urban environment at Port Vaugeois, as Zorasan and Mabifia held air superiority, in part due to Izibongo Ngonidzashe's reluctance to deploy the Royal Rwizikuran Air Force, they were able to undermine the Rwizikuran defences.

On 8 March, 1969, Tsuru Mawere was severely wounded by a Mabifian soldier, and was put out of action, as he was forced to be evacuated to Port Graham. While his condition was serious, by the end of the month, he recovered enough to be discharged from the hospital, and return to the Royal Rwizikuran Army. By that point, the Mabifian-Rwizikuran War ended, with Yekumavirira split along the Purple Line, as per the Treaty of Snarksburgh. However, due to his bravery and valor, he was given several honours, and was promoted to captain.

Garamburan War of Independence and aftermath

Thus, Captain Tsuru Mawere was deployed to East Riziland, which at that point was trying to secede from Rwizikuru as the independent state of Garambura. As a commander of a company of soldiers, Mawere found himself in Ntawha, which was still under Rwizikuran control. However, despite the increase of availability of soldiers among the Royal Rwizikuran Armed Forces as a result of the end of the Mabifian-Rwizikuran War, many of the soldiers he commanded were significantly demoralized, leaving them easy pickings for both the East Riziland Liberation Front and the fledgling Garamburan Armed Forces.

On 19 April, he experienced the Battle of Ntawha, which was a significant defeat for the Rwizikuran army, forcing them to retreat westwards into Rwizikuru. As the Garamburans advanced further into the district of Chekumabvazuva, the Rwizikurans were forced to sign the Treaty of Bazadavo which de-facto recognised Garamburan independence from Rwizikuru.

After the end of the Garamburan War of Independence, due to Tsuru Mawere's skills and efforts, he was again promoted, this time to the position of Major. Mawere became an instructor at the military academy in Port Fitzhubert in order to help transmit his skills to new recruits and soldiers. During this time, Mawere met his wife, Chiramwiwa Muzanenhamo, and married her in 1971. He also continued his studies at the military academy, in order to learn more strategies and tactics to help him win the next war.

By early 1974, Tsuru Mawere rose to the rank of Colonel, placing him in command of the 5th Regiment. As another war with Garambura loomed, Mawere spent several months preparing the 5th Regiment for an invasion of Garambura.

Nativity War

On 25 December, 1974, when Rwizikuru invaded Garambura and began the Nativity War, Colonel Tsuru Mawere led the 5th Regiment towards the border, with the intention of capturing Ntawha.

stalemate follows, he leads attempted breakthroughs, by end of war, he rises to Brigadier General

Late military career

Following the end of the Nativity War in 1976, Brigadier General Tsuru Mawere became disillusioned with the Rwizikuran government, especially its reigning monarch, Izibongo Ngonidzashe, who he felt to be the most responsible for Rwizikuru's defeat in the Mabifian-Rwizikuran War, the Garamburan War of Independence, and the Nativity War. Thus, despite his official loyalty to the Rwizikuran monarchy, he began to study democratic thinkers, and reading up on the Rwizikuran constitution that was in use prior to the adoption of the Basic Law in 1964.

However, fearing that he might be purged by Izibongo Ngonidzashe, he kept quiet, later saying that "if the option is to hide your views, or express them publicly, hide them until the time is right: that will ensure that you have a chance to get your views to the world." During this period, he was stationed across the country.

After the death of Izibongo Ngonidzashe in 1979, and the ascension of his son, Kupakwashe Ngonidzashe, Tsuru Mawere hoped that Kupakwashe Ngonidzashe might lead the country in a more democratic direction, even if it meant the preservation of the constitutional monarchy. However, as time passed, it appeared that Kupakwashe Ngonidzashe was maintaining his father's policies, with only "small token reforms" to appease the people. At that point in time, he made contact with Fred Ngonidzashe, who had recently been appointed his immediate superior, and began to conspire a plot to overthrow Kupakwashe Ngonidzashe, and install Fred Ngonidzashe as monarch.

Despite this common goal to remove Kupakwashe Ngonidzashe, Fred Ngonidzashe sought to maintain Izibongo Ngonidzashe's policies, while Tsuru Mawere sought to establish a constitutional monarchy, with Fred Ngonidzashe to serve as monarch. However, Mawere knew that as it seemed unlikely Kupakwashe Ngonidzashe would implement any reforms of Rwizikuru's policies, he had little choice but to agree with Mawere's plans.

Thus, throughout 1981, they prepared for a coup d'etat against Kupakwashe Ngonidzashe. On 22 December, 1981, they launched a coup attempt against the reigning monarch. However, Fred Ngonidzashe's eldest son, Chenjerai Ngonidzashe informed the King of the coup attempt, leading to Fred's arrest and subsequent execution for high treason. However, Fred Ngonidzashe's younger brother, Muchazvireva Ngonidzashe, and Tsuru Mawere fled to Caldia, where they were granted asylum in January 1982.

In response to Mawere's betrayal, he was dishonourably discharged in absentia from the Royal Rwizikuran Armed Forces, and he was also sentenced to death in absentia.

Life in exile

First years in Caldia

After arriving in Spálgleann with his family, he remained in close contact with Muchazvireva Ngonidzashe, who shared more in common concerning the democratisation and economic reform of Rwizikuru than Fred Ngonidzashe. Although he initially found life in Caldia challenging, given the lack of fluency he had in any language besides his native weRwizi and some fragmentary Gaullican, he took the opportunity to learn the Caldish language, as well as improve his knowledge of Gaullican.

In February 1983, when the Rwizikuran government-in-exile was established, Tsuru Mawere joined the government-in-exile, thereby kick-starting his political career. He advocated for the democratisation and economic liberalisation of Rwizikuru, and criticised the "autocratic regime" in existence at that point in time. During the first few years of the government-in-exile, Tsuru Mawere played a behind-the-scenes role in helping enlist people to work for the government-in-exile, and to promote its activities within Caldia, as well as Estmere.

By 1988, Tsuru Mawere began playing a greater role within the government-in-exile, with Muchazvireva Ngonidzashe designating him Deputy Mutungamiri, making him the second-in-line in the event Muchazvireva died before his term expired. Thus, during this period, Tsuru Mawere became increasingly vocal, praising Rwizikuru's economic reforms, but condemned its corruption: thus, he praised the 1988 agreement between Rwizikuru and the Global Institute of Fiscal Affairs to crack down on corruption as a "starting point" to end political corruption.

Mutungamiri

In 1993, Muchazvireva Ngonidzashe's two term limit was up, and as per the internal rules of the Rwizikuran government-in-exile, he was ineligible to serve a third consecutive term. Thus, Tsuru Mawere was confirmed to be the leader of the Rwizikuran government-in-exile with a "unanimous decision."

As Mutungamiri of the Rwizikuran government-in-exile, Tsuru Mawere took advantage of the fledgling world wide web to help spread the message of the Rwizikuran government-in-exile, particularly as he felt that more people will be using it in the "years to come." Thus, in 1994, he established a website for the government-in-exile, using the website to help promote the activities of the Rwizikuran government-in-exile, and criticise the Rwizikuran monarchy.

In addition, during his tenure as Mutungamiri of the Rwizikuran government-in-exile, he produced a "proposed constitution" in 1996, which sought to preserve the Mambo as a figurehead, much like the constitutional monarchies that were existent in Eldmark and Werania, and to have the draft constitution "enshrine multiparty democracy" by restoring the National Assembly of Rwizikuru.

In 1998, he was confirmed to serve for a second term as Mutungamiri of the government-in-exile. During his second term, Tsuru Mawere sought to continue promoting the government-in-exile as a "government-in-waiting," and to this end sought to foster ties between it and foreign states, in order to put pressure on Rwizikuru to democratise, so that "there will no longer be a need for the government-in-exile."

Later career

Tsuru Meware speaking, 2015

By 2003, as Tsuru Mawere reached his own maximum number of terms, he was succeeded by his own Deputy Mutungamiri, and his own predecessor, Muchazvireva Ngonidzashe, as Mutungamiri of the Rwizikuran government-in-exile, with Mawere returning to the position of Deputy Mutungamiri.

Despite his reduced role within the government-in-exile, Mawere continued his advocacy of Rwizikuran democratisation, the restoration of the National Assembly, and the implementation of the 1996 proposed constitution by the reigning monarch.

In 2006, when Mweya Ngonidzashe joined the government-in-exile, Tsuru Mawere was dismissed as Deputy Mutungamiri, to make room for Mweya Ngonidzashe, as Mweya Ngonidzashe was seen as a "more valuable person" for the position, particularly as Mweya Ngonidzashe exposed contemporary corruption in Rwizikuru, especially among the reigning monarch, Kupakwashe Ngonidzashe. However, Tsuru Mawere continued playing an active role in the government-in-exile, by promoting the Rwizikuran government-in-exile, and criticising the Rwizikuran government.

By 2008, Muchazvireva Ngonidzashe stepped aside in favour of Mweya Ngonidzashe, with Muchazvireva becoming Deputy Mutungamiri, which was seen as an apparent snub to Tsuru Mawere. Despite this, Tsuru Mawere continued his work in the government-in-exile, even though he believed that "it is impossible that my children, let alone I, will ever see a democratic Rwizikuru in our lifetimes," and began reducing his profile, on account of his age.

However, after Mweya Ngonidzashe died in 2017, and Muchazvireva Ngonidzashe became the Mutungamiri, Tsuru Mawere was passed over in favour of Muchazvireva's son, Takunda Ngonidzashe, both on account of Mawere's old age, and as it was believed that it was now essential for Takunda Ngonidzashe to "learn how to run the government-in-exile."

This decision was seen as a betrayal of the "very principles that the government-in-exile was established" by Mawere, and in February 2018, following Muchazvireva's confirmation to serve as Mutungamiri, Tsuru Mawere retired from the government-in-exile, officially on account of old age, although he would later admit that his retirement from the government-in-exile was influenced by the "betrayal by Muchazvireva Ngonidzashe against the very principles upon which he and I agreed with when we joined the putsch."

Mutungamiri

Return and election campaign

Following the abdication of Kupakwashe Ngonidzashe and his succession by his son, Munashe Ngonidzashe, Munashe officially pardoned Tsuru Mawere on 5 November, 2019, as well as altered Mawere's discharge from a dishonourable discharge to a general discharge.

Immediately after his pardon, Tsuru Mawere and his wife left Spálgleann for his hometown of Mutupo, with the intention of running for a seat in the National Assembly once "a new constitution has been promulgated."

After the new constitution was promulgated, Tsuru Mawere declared his candidacy for the constituency of Sangoguru kuchamhembe in the reconstituted National Assembly, facing opposition from Irikidzayi Ullyet, who participated in the drafting of the 2020 Rwizikuran constitution, and Shumba Towungana. When the writ was dropped by Munashe Ngonidzashe, Tsuru Mawere faced an uphill battle, as it appeared as though Ullyet would win the seat, given Mawere's exile in Caldia and his "betrayal" by participating in the putsch against Kupakwashe Ngonidzashe.

To this end, Tsuru Mawere's campaign emphasised both his military career, expressed remorse for participating in the putsch, and emphasised his commitment to the democratisation of Rwizikuru. He pledged to connect Sangoguru kuchamhembe to the "western bank" of Rwizikuru, which would reduce congestion in the Port Fitzhubert metropolitan area, while improving national security.

Over the next three months, Mawere gained an edge over his rivals: thus, on 3 April, Tsuru Mawere was elected as Member of the National Assembly with 54% of the vote, to Ullyet's 40% of the vote.

Election as Mutungamiri

After being sworn in on 6 April, 2020, Tsuru Mawere quickly became a contender for becoming the first Mutungamiri of Rwizikuru, due to the combination of his past military experience, and his tireless advocacy for Rwizikuru's economic liberalisation and democratisation while in exile. Thus, when it came time to elect the Mutungamiri, while in the first round, he did not get the most votes, he managed to eliminate Gamuchirai Mhlanga and Kudzoka Muzorewa. In the second round, Mhlanga and his supporters backed Rambwa Zvinavashe, while Kudzoka and his supporters backed Tsuru Mawere, allowing him to triumph over Rambwa Zvinavashe, 55-45.

As such, he was sworn in on 7 April, 2020, as the first Mutungamiri of Rwizikuru. The cabinet was elected, with Nkwenyane Remakece being elected by the National Assembly to serve as Deputy Mutungamiri of Rwizikuru.

Personal life

In 1971, Tsuru Mawere met his wife, Chiramwiwa Muzanenhamo, and married her later that year. Together, they have two sons, Ndinevimb Mawere, born in 1972, and Tendeka Mawere, born in 1977, as well as three daughters: Masamba Ó Muraíle, born in 1974, Ndanatsei Ngonidzashe, born in 1980, and Saoirse Ó Báire, born in 1984. As of 2020, he has seven grandchildren, and remains close to "all of his children and grandchildren."

He speaks weRwizi as a native language, is fluent in Gaullican and Caldish, and can comfortably carry a conversation in Estmerish.

He was baptised as a Low Estmerian at birth, and has said that the faith has been "my rock whenever I face tribulations." He attends services on a regular basis, but believes that there should be a separation between church and state.

Political views

Tsuru Mawere supports neoliberalism, believing that it "as demonstrated in Euclea and the Asterias, it provides an opportunity for people to rise high," and credits the economic growth from the 1980s until 2005 "to the neoliberal policies," saying that Bahia would greatly benefit from the implementation of neoliberalism.

He is a social conservative, believing that "the traditional Bahian family should be maintained and preserved at all costs," and supports loyalty to the country. However, he is a staunch supporter of democratisation, as he believes that if the "ordinary people" are allowed to participate in government, they would be able to help improve the country.

Honours

Domestic

  • Rwizikuru - Mubairo wekurwira muvengi (1969, revoked 1981, restored 2019)
  • Rwizikuru - Masoja eKurongeka yeMeriti (1969, revoked 1981, restored 2019)

Foreign