Deputy News Editor
President Mnangagwa has expressed shock at the death of Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Iran, Mr Christopher Mapanga, and has directed that he be accorded a State-assisted funeral considering the immense work he did for the country.
Ambassador Mapanga died on Thursday in Iran.
In a statement yesterday, President Mnangagwa said: “The sudden death on national assignment in foreign land of Ambassador Christopher Mapanga came to me as a great shock.
“A very diligent and experienced diplomat who served his country with undivided dedication and loyalty, Ambassador Mapanga joined Foreign Affairs as a junior officer barely a year into our Independence in 1981.”
President Mnangagwa said Ambassador Mapanga’s career in Foreign Affairs Ministry was shared between head office and different foreign stations where he was deployed as part of the country’s foreign service staff.
His long career in foreign service took him to Japan, Kenya and Namibia where he served in different capacities, all the time helping actualise Zimbabwe’s foreign policy goals at that formative stage of Independence, said President Mnangagwa.
“Thereafter, Government promoted him to the rank of Consul General to Johannesburg in South Africa, a station which by all counts is one of the busiest and most demanding,” he said.
“Before long, the late Ambassador would again be promoted and reassigned to Moscow, Russia, as Minister Plenipotentiary.” From 2014 until his death, Ambassador Mapanga had risen to become an Ambassador, serving Zimbabwe in Egypt before being redeployed to Tehran which became his last posting.
Said President Mnangagwa: “On behalf of Government, and on my own behalf, I wish to convey my deepest, heartfelt condolences to the Mapanga family, and to Amai Mapanga and the children, especially on this their unexpected, saddest loss.
“As they grieve, may they derive comfort from the illustrious career of the late Ambassador Mapanga who stood firm and unshaken in his defence of Zimbabwe’s interests abroad. In recognition of his remarkable record in our Foreign Service, I have directed that the late Ambassador Mapanga be accorded State-assisted funeral. May his dear soul rest in eternal peace.” Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Frederick Shava, his deputy Dr David Musabayana, Permanent Secretary Ambassador James Manzou and the entire ministry staff said they learnt with “profound grief and sadness” of the passing on of Ambassador Mapanga.
They expressed “deep and heartfelt condolences” to President Mnangagwa, the Government, Mrs Mapanga, the children and the Mapanga family following the “very sad and untimely loss” of Ambassador Mapanga.
Ambassador Mapanga is survived by wife and four children.