Mushohwe a transparent, sociable cadre: President President Mnangagwa humbles himself as he pays his condolences to Mrs Mushohwe and her family in Colne Valley, Borrowdale, Harare, yesterday. — Pictures: Believe Nyakudjara.

Joseph Madzimure-Senior Reporter

FORMER Cabinet minister Dr Christopher Mushohwe has been described by President Mnangagwa as a very honest, transparent and sociable character.

Dr Mushohwe, who died on Monday aged 69 after a long illness, has been declared a national hero.

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

President Mnangagwa described his death as a deep loss to the nation, and devastating news to the former minister’s family and to him.

Addressing mourners at the national hero’s home in Borrowdale yesterday, President Mnangagwa said the nation has lost a passionate leader who served the nation with diligence.

“I worked closely with him in the former President’s office from the early 1980s. We were very close with the late Cde Chris. We worked closely together in Zanu PF and the Government. He was a very honest, transparent and sociable man,” said the President.

Dr Mushohwe was very passionate about the scholarship programmes meant to capacitate the underprivileged students.

“He had over 400 students through the Presidential scholarships under him. He used to come to my office seeking financial assistance to fund the Presidential scholarship programme. I sometimes told him that we don’t have money, but he would persist until we sourced funds for the programme,” he said. 

When Dr Mushohwe was not feeling well, President Mnangagwa visited him several times. 

“I came here at his house several times to see him when he was not feeling well. The last time when he phoned me, we talked about 3-4 minutes, but his voice was very low and I knew that he was really not well.

“I sent Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who is the Minister of Health and Child Care to see his health condition. Vice President Chiwenga came to see him and told me that Dr Mushohwe’s health was deteriorating. His body was very weak, but he was very clear in his memory. You can really see that he was not feeling well,” 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 through the Presidential Scholarship programme.

President Mnangagwa was accompanied by Zanu PF national Political Commissar Cde Mike Bimha; Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa; Minister of Women’s Affairs, Community and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Sithembiso Nyoni and other senior Government officials.

The President consoles mourners gathered at national hero Cde Christopher Mushohwe’s family home in Colne Valley, Borrowdale, Harare, yesterday.

Because of his commitment to serve the nation, President Mnangagwa said they have declared him a national hero.

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.

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

His 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 under secretary (Comptroller of the Prime Minister’s Household), 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 Cde 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.

Dr Mushohwe is survived by his wife Penelope Batsirai and eight children Prince, Primrose, Princess, Trevor, Tanya, Anesu, Shawn, Prayer and several grandchildren.

Burial arrangements will be announced in due course.

Mourners are gathered at 12 Nigels Lane, Colne Valley, Borrowdale Harare.

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