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Mushohwe declared national hero

by Staff reporter
14 Feb 2023 at 05:20hrs | Views
Former Cabinet Minister Dr Christopher Mushohwe, who died yesterday after a long illness, has been declared a national hero.

In a condolence message to the Mushowe family last night, President Mnangagwa described his death as a deep loss to the nation, and devastating news to the former minister's family and to him.

He said Dr Mushohwe was instrumental in setting up an educational programme for senior war veterans in Government, and ensured greater access to education for disadvantaged Zimbabweans.

The President said Dr Mushohwe was "always showing a strong internal drive and an insatiable urge to improve himself, Dr Mushohwe used his scarce time to study through distance education until he became a holder of two doctorates.

"This was an extraordinary feat for a man holding such sensitive and onerous positions. He also was instrumental in setting up an educational programme for senior war veterans in Government, which was run from Zimbabwe House.

"Later, he played a pivotal role in ensuring greater access to education for able, yet disadvantaged Zimbabweans, through the Presidential Scholarship Programme which educated thousands."

The President said the former minister was a long-time civil servant, and later a holder of key ministerial portfolios under the First Republic.

President Mnangagwa said Dr Mushowe held very sensitive positions in Government, including serving as personal staff to the late former President Robert Mugabe with whom he worked closely for many years as Director of State Residences.

"Such placements called for total trust, integrity and loyalty, attributes which Dr Mushohwe exuded and glowed in abundance," said President Mnangagwa.

"His elevation to the level of Minister of Government in charge of key ministries like Transport, and Information and Publicity, reflected not just personal growth, but the profound faith Government reposed in him."

Dr Mushohwe was a prominent member of Zanu-PF.

"In the party, he started from a humble role of a war collaborator in the struggle, rising to become a Member of Parliament, and a key figure in the party's provincial structure of Manicaland.

"Before long, he became a Member of the Central Committee, before being elevated to the Politburo where he was in charge of Economic Policy and Affairs.

"The party has lost a key stalwart and loyal cadre whose rich and perceptive contributions will be sorely missed. On behalf of the ruling party, Zanu-PF, Government, our nation, my family and on my behalf, I wish to express my deepest, heartfelt condolences to the Mushowe family, especially to Mrs Mushowe and the children, on this their saddest loss.

"As they go through the painful motions of grief, may they find solace in the knowledge that our nation shares in their pain and bereavement. Indeed, his outstanding contribution to his country and people should assuage their grief which Zimbabwe today gives back through the great honour and respect it accords to the dear departed," said President Mnangagwa.

He is survived by wife, Penelope and eight children.

Dr Mushowe's illustrious career in public service started in 1981 when he was employed as an assistant accountant at the then Dairy Marketing Board (now Dairibord), he then left to take up the position of principal executive officer (Comptroller of the Prime Minister's household) on October 1, 1981.

In 1982 he was tasked by the late former President Mugabe to co-ordinate his study programme up to 1990, and continued to play the same role until 2018.

On August 1, 1986 he was promoted to undersecretary (Comptroller of the Prime Minister's House-hold), a position he held until October 1, 1988 when he was elevated to the position of Director State Residences (Deputy Secretary) in the Office of the President and Cabinet.

He worked in that office until August 31, 1993 when he was appointed Principal Director (Permanent Secretary).

He then left Government service on June 5, 2000 to represent Zanu-PF as its candidate for the Marange West parliamentary seat and won, and was then appointed Minister of Transport and Communication.

He held the post until August 25, 2009 when he was appointed Governor and Resident Minister for Manicaland Province.

In December of the same year he briefly assumed the position of Zanu-PF provincial chairman following the resignation of Basil Nyabadza.

In 2013, he  was elected MP for Mutare West and was appointed Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister on December 11, 2014 after a Cabinet reshuffle.

On September 11, 2015 he was appointed Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister after a Cabinet reshuffle. He was later appointed Minister of State in the President's Office Responsible for Scholarships in 2017, a post he retained in President Mnangagwa's Cabinet and served until 2018.

Source - The Herald