VICE-PRESIDENT Constantino Chiwenga – whose previous two divorce cases revealed that he is loaded with money, property and businesses — has completed building a new luxurious mansion in Harare’s upmarket Borrowdale suburb.
He is expected to move into the jaw-dropping home soon, informed sources say.
The cost of the new house runs into millions of dollars. The source of Chiwenga’s wealth remains a mystery.
The breathtaking property was constructed in recent months by Chinese nationals who fitted it with the latest technology to bolster the security-conscious vice-president’s safety.
Dubbed “the White House”, the awe-inspiring double-storey mansion has a spectacular structure and the finest finishings; transcendental decorative texture and optics — all built by the Chinese.
In the popularity stakes of Harare’s palatial homes, Chiwenga’s new house could overshadow businessman Philip Chiyangwa’s “White House” along Crowhill Road in Borrowdale, which now looks relatively dilapidated.
There are now so many more beautiful homes in the area.
The “White House” epithet is borrowed from the United States president’s neo-classical, palladian official residence and workplace in Washington DC, located at 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, built in 1792, but opened in 1800.
Chiwenga’s new property is located along Manombe Close in Carrick Creagh Estate in Borrowdale and has reportedly been lavishly fitted with imported furnishings. Carrick Creagh, which overlooks the upmarket Borrowdale Brooke neighbourhood, is a prime suburb where a 2 000-square-metre stand can cost around US$100 000, according to independent realtors.
Chiwenga has not yet moved into the mansion, but has made several visits to the property to monitor progress.
Scenically manicured landscaping has already taken shape, while wildlife trophies, including lions — similar to those at the State House entrance — have been installed at the new property.
Under heavy military and police guard, the house can easily be mistaken for celebrity mansions in Beverly Hills, US.
Monied Zimbabweans are known for competing to build the most spectacular houses.
Since his return from China in November 2019 where he was saved from the jaws of a critical illness after being in the intensive care unit for months and then immediately divorcing his wife Marry, Chiwenga moved out of their matrimonial at No.614 Nick Price Road in Zimbabwe’s prime housing estate, Borrowdale Brooke.
The estate was developed by Zimbabwean golf legend Nick Price, who reached No.1 on the world rankings.
Chiwenga is currently staying at the Golden Peacock Villa Hotel along Kingsmead Road in Borrowdale in Harare owned by Anjin — a joint venture between the ministry of Defence and a Chinese investor – after he abandoned the house he said is of “sentimental value” to him.
Even though he managed to evict Marry from the Brooke with the help of the army, Chiwenga still moved out.
Initially, Chiwenga left the Brooke house, where used to live with his other former wife Jocelyn, in April 2010 to stay with Marry on 11 Rosary Close in Greystone Park suburb, also in the Borrowdale area.
For the former Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander’s convenience, his “White House” has an elevator to take him up to his expansive bedroom upstairs.
Truckloads of property, groceries and expensive whiskey, according to credible sources, were recently delivered to the mansion, an indication that the VP’s relocation from the Golden Peacock Villa Hotel is imminent.
Chiwenga, who used to love his fine whiskies – particularly Johnny Walker Blue Label and others – has quit drinking on health grounds after spending about five months in China in 2019, receiving treatment for a life-threatening ailment.
A sickly and emaciated Chiwenga was rushed to Beijing in July 2019 at a time many government and family members had lost hope that he would recover, prompting a scramble for his position among senior Zanu PF and government officials.
He had earlier sought treatment in South Africa and India, to no avail.
He underwent two delicate operations in Beijing to clear part of his oesophagus which was blocked. He was admitted in an intensive care unit of a state-of-the-art hospital for some time before being moved into a private ward.
At the time he was airlifted, Chiwenga was in terrible shape and severely emancipated, weighing only 55 kilogrammes and could not eat. By November, he was weighing about 90kgs, official sources said at the time.
Chiwenga and Marry’s divorce matter is still pending in court, although the vice-president has unilaterally selected the property he prefers giving to his wife whom he got arrested and detained for a long time. Chiwenga has also seized their children from Marry.
The vice-president has experienced successive ugly divorces, including with Jocelyn and, in both instances, he has used military might to force out his bitter lovers from the Borrowdale Brooke mansion.
Jocelyn was hounded out of the house which was then inscribed C&J (Constantino and Jocelyn), before that was replaced by C&M (Constantino and Marry).
The inscriptions have since been taken down.
Jocelyn now lives close to the hilltop house in the Brooke, while Marry is staying with her parents in Glen Lorne.