BREAST cancer is a silent killer and the Government will address the situation to avoid further loss of life from the scourge, President Mnangagwa has said.
In his condolence message following the death of former Director for State Occasions in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Mrs Anne Anastasia Knuth, nee Chakanetsa, who died on Monday, President Mnangagwa said the late senior civil servant was a patriot and hard worker.
Mrs Knuth succumbed to breast cancer in Norton and was buried yesterday at the Knuth family plot in Harare.
The President said her death highlighted the ever-growing rate of breast cancer among the female population in Zimbabwe, which should be seriously addressed to avoid further loss of life.
“I received with great sadness and shock news of the death yesterday morning (Monday) of Mrs Anne Annastasia Knuth, nee Chakanetsa,” he said in a statement.
“I was pained to learn that she succumbed to complications arising from her battle with breast cancer at her home surrounded by her children and grandchildren.
“Her death highlights the ever-growing rate of incidences of breast cancer among our women population in Zimbabwe which we must address seriously in order to avoid further loss of life to this silent killer disease.
“On behalf of Government, my family, and on my own behalf, I wish to express my deepest condolences to the Knuth and Chakanetsa families, especially to her children and grandchildren who have lost a beloved mother and grandparent.
“May they derive comfort from the knowledge that the services she rendered to Government and the nation are highly appreciated.”
Mrs Knuth was a seasoned journalist by profession.
She began her career in the civil service as a senior information officer in the Ministry of Information, Post and Telecommunications in the early 1980s.
Mrs Knuth belonged to the pioneering crop of black civil servants who, with their demonstrable professional skills and qualifications, were recruited into the civil service to bring about transformative change to reflect the new multi-racial nature of the Zimbabwean society.
Mrs Knuth rose through the ranks to the position of Government Chief Public Relations Officer with the onerous task of branding the newly Independent State of Zimbabwe.
President Mnangagwa said she did not disappoint as a public relations officer.
She was later transferred from the information ministry to the Office of the President and Cabinet as a director for State Occasions.
She retired from Government at the helm of the directorate as the chief director.
“She leaves behind an enduring legacy of professionalism, hard work and patriotism,” said President Mnangagwa.
In retirement, Mrs Knuth was a budding commercial farmer focusing on horticulture and commercial grains.
“Being a farmer was her modest contribution towards ensuring that Zimbabwe became food self-sufficient and a net exporter of horticultural products and grain,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Sadly, her dream has been short lived and our nation is poorer with her passing on. May her soul rest in eternal peace.”