President Mnangagwa has accorded a State assisted funeral to Ambassador Andrew Mtetwa who died on Sunday.
The President described the envoy as an eminent scholar and historian who served his country with distinction in diplomatic service.
“I learnt with deep grief and a sense of loss the passing yesterday morning of one of our veteran ambassadors in the foreign service, Ambassador Andrew Hama Mtetwa,” said President Mnangagwa.
“An eminent scholar and historian, the late Ambassador Mtetwa belonged to the pioneering crop of black Zimbabweans who joined the civil service in the early years of our Independence in the 1980s.
“They were our change agents upon whom we relied to transform a predominantly white minority-dominated civil service in order to give it a new look reflecting the majority dispensation under the First Republic.”
President Mnangagwa said Ambassador Mtetwa joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as an under-secretary and rose through the ranks to ultimately head the Ministry as permanent secretary.
He said in that capacity, he played a critical role in shaping and defining Zimbabwe’s foreign policy.
“He will be remembered for his diligence and hard work as one of our longest serving career diplomats who advanced and defended our national interests at the various stations he served as our ambassador, including at the African Union,” President Mnangagwa.
“On retirement from the diplomatic service, he continued to share the knowledge he had acquired in the foreign service as a lecturer in diplomacy at the then Zimbabwe Defence College, now National Defence University.”
At the time of his death he had just been appointed to the board of directors of the Zimbabwe Foreign Service Institute.
President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe is poorer with his passing on.
“In recognition of his long, outstanding and loyal service to Zimbabwe, I have granted the late Ambassador a State-assisted funeral.
“On behalf of Government, and indeed on my behalf, I wish to express my sincere condolences to the Mtetwa Family following the loss of the dear departed.
“May they take comfort from the knowledge that their loss is shared by our Nation in whose service he gave his utmost.
“May his dear soul rest in eternal peace,” said President.