Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Oliver Chidawu burial set for today

by Staff reporter
25 Jul 2022 at 06:26hrs | Views
The memorial service for the Minister of State for Harare Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Engineer Oliver Chidawu, who died last Tuesday, was held yesterday at the family home in Harare ahead of burial at the National Heroes Acre today.

Family members described him as God-fearing, humble, and a loving and caring father.

His name will forever be written in the country's history after he became the youngest ever mayor of the City of Harare at the age of 29.

He was among the pioneers of black empowerment in the early 1980s when the word was little known, nay little understood.

Yesterday, relatives and friends gathered at the Chidawu family home in Harare for the memorial service.

His widow Mrs Sphiwe Chidawu described him as a unifier and courageous man whose life revolved around uplifting the lives of all family members.

Mrs Chidawu narrated how she lived with the late national hero during their 41-year marriage.

"I grew up in Bulawayo and was married to him on May 9 1981, after we got engaged on November 29 1980. As you are all aware that in most marriages there are also ups and downs. No marriage is perfect and this is experienced by most couples, but I loved my husband and he loved me too. I am going to miss him," she said.

She said after she was married, she moved to Kambuzuma where Chidawu was staying at that time before they relocated to stay in a cottage in Greendale.

A few months later, Chidawu purchased a house in Ashdown Park where they went to live.

His daughter, Dadirai who first sang her father's favourite gospel song, said she was saddened that in June 2017, they lost their brother and now it was their father.

"My father loved God and my father taught me to trust. He also liked to sing and he had a beautiful voice. His favourite song was, ‘My soul say yes'. We used to sing together and who will I sing with since now he is gone?

"He was my friend and I could talk anything with him and would listen. He was a wonderful father who showed us a lot of things in life. He taught us to love people, to love family and to value relationship. Dad was humble," she said.

She said Chidawu would even apologise to his children when they feel they have been wronged by their father.

His other daughter, Ropafadzo, said: "When he was at home, he was first and foremost a parent and we would sit together as a family. He cared mostly about pursuing education and was a mentor."

His two grandchildren who are based in the United States, said they had plans to visit their grandfather later this year but were saddened by his untimely death.

"He was my grandfather and I loved him so much because he made us happy all that time. He was always smiling and would make sure that he spared most of his time for us," said one of them Matida Munake.

Chidawu's sister, Pauline, said she started staying with him since she was in Grade 5 and that he was a very loving and caring person.

His brother, Anderson, had this to say: "We grew up very closely and we used to cook together and we were united. I remember when I went to work in Bulawayo, while he was here in Harare, my brother called me and said I should come back and work in Harare.

"He said Bulawayo was too far and that we should remain close. He was a torch bearer within the family. I am still shocked with his death."

He said not only did Chidawu help them but also his wife would assist all family members. "However I would like to say to her, let's remain united as a family," Anderson said.

An uncle, Sekuru Chitekeshe said when Chidawu was staying in Kambuzuma, they used to go and pray together in some nearby mountains in Warren Park area since he was a God-fearing man.

A chartered engineer and entrepreneur, Eng Chidawu was chairman of African Banking Corporation Zimbabwe, non-executive chairman of Manders Group, and founder of Kuchi Group of Companies. He was also a major shareholder in Bitumen Construction Services and the founding shareholder and director of Heritage Investment Bank which merged with First Merchant

He was also a director at Starafrica Corporation and was once the chairman at Pelhams Ltd and Zimplow Ltd.

At the time of his death, he was the Minister of State for Harare Metropolitan Province and Devolution and was the owner of several companies.

Chidawu did his primary education at St Faith Mudoti in Chivhu up to Standard Four. He later relocated to Harare in Kambuzuma.

He advanced his education through City and Guilds up to tertiary education. The provincial minister succumbed to a heart attack on Tuesday and is survived by his wife Sphiwe, two children — Dadirai and Ropafadzo — and six grandchildren.

Source - The Herald
More on: #Chidawu, #Buria, #Today