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Mnangagwa mourns Chitsiko

by Staff reporter
12 Aug 2021 at 06:37hrs | Views
President Mnangagwa yesterday sent a message of condolence to the Chitsiko family following the death of long-time civil servant and former secretary for Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement, Engineer Ringson Chitsiko. Eng Chitsiko (68) was granted a State-assisted funeral in appreciation of his distinguished career and dedication to national service.

He succumbed to Covid-19 complications on Tuesday and he will be buried today at his farm in Mhangura.

"I learnt with deep sadness of the death yesterday of Engineer Ringson Chitsiko from Covid-19-related complications.

"A long-time civil servant, many will remember the late Chitsiko as our Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement who until his retirement a couple of years ago, was the face of our efforts towards national agricultural transformation for greater food security for our nation. Alongside the many colleagues he led in that pivotal Ministry, Chitsiko conceived and operationalised several agricultural policies and programmes respectively, thus putting our nation on an even agricultural keel after many years of repeated food insecurity," he said.

President Mnangagwa said it was during Eng Chitsiko's time that Government embarked on aggressive dam construction and expansion of irrigation programmes thus climate proofing our agricultural sector.

"That vast effort, coupled with mechanisation of the sector, explains the significant milestones we have registered as a nation. He will be sorely missed by his colleagues in Government, and by the farming community which drew a lot from his technical leadership and inexhaustible knowledge as an agricultural expert," he aid The President said he worked with Eng Chitsiko in the Food Security Cluster under the First Republic.

"He provided valuable advice to Government during delicate negotiations that yielded the Global Compensation Agreement with former commercial farmers, which Agreement is set to put closure to the protracted Land Question. "On behalf of the party, Zanu-PF, Government and on my own behalf, I wish to express my deepest, heartfelt condolences to the Chitsiko Family on this their saddest loss. May they derive comfort from the distinguished career which Chitsiko leaves behind, and for which his country will forever remain grateful," he said.

Meanwhile, the agriculture sector has described Engineer Chitsiko as a huge blow to the agriculture sector and the nation. The Ministry of Lands said the death of Eng Chitsiko was a blow to the Ministry and the sector.

"We are saddened to announce the demise of former Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture; Mr Ringson Chitsiko. We have lost a giant in agriculture. We will miss his commitment and dedication in transforming the agricultural space," said the ministry in a tweet.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president Dr Shadreck Makombe said Eng Chitsiko was instrumental in the transformation of the agriculture sector.

"Eng Chitsiko shaped the Ministry. We have lost a fountain of knowledge. As farmers' unions we would call him on issues of policy and governance and he would assist. He was an engineer par excellence," he said.

Family spokesman, Daniel Mackenzie Ncube said Engineer Chitsiko was dedicated to his work and the agriculture sector.

"He joined Government on independence and transformed the agriculture sector. "He worked together with the former Minister Perrance Shiri to boost productivity.

"We have lost a loving person who worked hard to provide for his immediate family, extended family and the nation. He was a pillar and the void he left will be difficult to fill," he said. ZFU director, Mr Paul Zakariya said Eng Ringson Chitsiko made immense contributions to agriculture in Zimbabwe.

"Working together with ZFU Commodity Associations, he promoted the adoption of organic farming and the production and consumption of traditional grains among smallholder farmers. "He will be remembered for his strong passion for genuine sustainable agricultural growth and self sustenance of smallholder farmers. Another giant has fallen," he said.

Source - the herald,