Latest News Editor's Choice

News / Local

Chidawu leaves bitter-sweet legacy

by Staff reporter
20 Jul 2022 at 08:19hrs | Views
THE untimely death Tuesday of Harare Metropolitan Provincial Affairs minister, Oliver Chidawu (68), due to suspected cardiac arrest, ignited social media amid revelations the top engineer-cum-politician badly treated workers at his Chinhoyi farm like a white supremacist.

Although his political life revolved around the capital city of Harare where he made history becoming the youngest mayor aged 29, it is in Mashonaland West province's farming town of Chinhoyi that his reputation as a feared and ruthless politician-turned-farmer was entrenched.

As news of the minister's passing flooded social media, Chinhoyi-linked WhatsApp groups, including Chinhoyi Talk, were inundated with comments, ranging from crude to outright morbid, of the departed political figure, who lately assumed Harare's top job following the unceremonious removal of defacto governor, Mirriam Chikukwa.

A former employee at Chidawu's farm wrote: "Ini ndakabva ndisina kana cent. Kurarama semhuka, kuita se taiva munguva ya (colonial prime minister Ian) Smith, takangozosiya but mari yakarova haaa zvakaoma hazvo. Chokwadi kufa hakuna member. January to December no pay. (l left empty-handed without a cent. We lived like animals, we simply left, and our monies never came, it's so difficult. True, death knows no class)."

An imposing commercial property in Chinhoyi's central business district (CBD) that belonged to Chidawu was also topical as residents reflected on his legacy.

With thickets and grass sprouting inside the building with a collapsed roof, the structure is indeed an eyesore.

The property has been lying derelict for over a decade now and details gathered by indicate council officials were hesitant to take Chidawu head-on for fear of losing their jobs.

Two years ago, a ministerial commission came to Chinhoyi to evaluate its readiness for elevation to city status, but buildings such as late Chidawu's militate against the bid for a higher status that enables it to attract investors as well as increase borrowing powers on the open market.

Hereunder are some comments relating to late the ugly building situated in Chinhoyi's CBD, and his farm.

[7/19, 12:35] +263 77 933 8489: Best to knock down that structure and put a new one.

[7/19, 12:42] +27 61 626 3482: Yah iyo building yakutoda kupazwa ivakwe patsva. Manje apa zvinenge zviririkuramba..tirikungodzinzwa nhasi. That building yakamboita topic pano but hatina kumboziva kuti muridzi wayo ndiani.

[7/19, 11:44] +263 77 268 9447: To me that building was and eyesore. It has been idle for a long time. Hope he left family members who will finish it to give a better look of Chinhoyi.

[7/19, 12:15]…: He destroyed that farm. The fields are no longer being cultivated.

[7/19, 12:20] +263 77 268 9447: Town haikuri kana vanhu vachibatira mabuilding vachiregedza kumagadzira kuti ashande. Kubhemba chete z not enough for a commercial property, let alone along the main road.

[7/19, 12:57] +263 77 268 9447: Council should be losing a lot of revenue on rates and water bills as you would not expect an owner of such unused buildings to pay anything when there is no activity.

[7/19, 13:54] +27 61 626 3482: Council vanoziva wekutorera vanhu ma stands chete vachisiya mashefu

[7/19, 13:55] +44 7428 282193: Pane vanotorerwa guys zivai nyika yenyu dai iri yatabve Mvuma ingadai yakatogwa kare

[7/19, 13:56] +44 7428 282193: MuZim pane vamwe vari above the law. Zvitsva here moda kupisisa vamwe zvigumwe.

A chartered engineer and entrepreneur, Chidawu was also chairman of African Banking Corporation Zimbabwe, non-executive chairman of Manders Group and founder of Kuchi Group of Companies.

The senator was also a major shareholder in Bitumen Construction and a founding shareholder and director of Heritage Investment Bank that merged with First Merchant Bank in 1997.

He sat on the board of Bindura Nickel Corporation Ltd.

Source - NewZimbabwe