Felex Share and Natasha Kokai
President Mnangagwa yesterday swore in the new Minister of State for Harare Provincial Affairs, Senator Oliver Chidawu.
Senator Chidawu took his oath of office at a ceremony held at State House in Harare which was witnessed by Vice Presidents Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi.
The former Harare mayor said he was in Government to provide strategic leadership for Harare province and his appointment as provincial minister comes on the back of a new mandate given to further the goals of devolution in line with President Mnangagwa’s Vision 2030 and other developmental goals.
“Harare is a city where all of us are represented and we must be able to provide that leadership to ensure we maintain sanity in the city,” he said.
“The city, as you know, is the home of governance systems. The Executive, Legislature and Judiciary are here hence we should able to provide that leadership.”
He said concerted efforts were needed to solve the challenges the province was facing. We have to work together with the population,” Sen Chidawu said.
“A lot of plans are in place, things over the years have deteriorated and I think that is my priority to ensure that we work together. I think the biggest challenge that we have is water and we are going to be pushing to make sure that provision is there.
“I just have to raise the bar for all of us to appreciate the issues around us. We are forced to work together to make sure Harare is habitable for all of us.”
On wetlands, he said: “We have to get the people on the wetlands out. We have to get them alternative places. We can’t continue to deplete our water through people settling in wetlands. Those who are there they must know they have to leave.”
Born in 1954, Senator Chidawu became the youngest mayor in the history of Harare city in 1984 at the age of 29.
A chartered engineer and entrepreneur, Senator Chidawu is chairman of African Banking Corporation Zimbabwe, non-executive chairman of Manders Group and founder of Kuchi Group of Companies.
Senator Chidawu is also a major shareholder in Bitumen Construction. He was also a founding shareholder and director of Heritage Investment Bank that merged with First Merchant Bank in 1997.
He also sits on the board of Bindura Nickel Corporation Ltd.
The province has not had a Minister of State since September last year when President Mnangagwa appointed his new Cabinet.
Cde Miriam Chikukwa was the last Minister of State for Harare.