Former ZANU PF secretary for commissariat and Chief of Staff for the Zimbabwe National Army Engelbert Rugeje is the front runner to land the post of Vice Chancellor of the Zimbabwe National Defence University (ZNDU), the Zim Morning Post has learnt.
Zim Morning Post understands that interviews will be conducted by a joint committee of the University Council and the Senate in order to choose the successful candidate.
“Rugeje is the clear winner in all the candidates vying for that post, the man has won many battles on the war front and he is well educated and currently commands a powerful position in his party.
“He also has experience in the corporate world as he sits on some company boards,” said our source who refused to be identified.
Rugeje has a decorated military and academic history which resonates with university’s mandate to lead national defence and security grounded in the country’s national interests and values.
He is a graduate from the prestigious Havard University where he read for a Masters of Business Administration.
This is after he graduated from Lancaster University with both a Master of Defense and Strategic Studies degree and a Master of Laws degree.
Rugeje also spent some time in Malaysia where he is yet to graduate with a Doctorate degree.
He was the commander at Inkomo Barracks (the primary unit under his command being the First Mechanised Battalion). Rugeje was also successful in leading missions against the Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO) when he was commander of One Commando Battalion .
In 2000, he was promoted to major general, becoming the fourth in command of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
The ZNDU is a product of the Zimbabwe Defence College and became a fully-fledged national university in 2017 following a Statutory Instrument published in the government gazzete.
The university offers courses that are attended by senior officials from the Zimbabwe National Army, Air Force of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services, the President’s department and senior officials from other sectors to sharpen their skills in defence and national security strategy formulation.
Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri could not be reached for comment while Rugeje’s mobile phone was not answered at the time of writing.