Zanu-PF leaders yesterday said the death of Harare Metropolitan provincial Minister Oliver Chidawu was shocking as it came without him having declared illness.
Chidawu succumbed to a heart attack in Harare. He was 68.
Zanu PF politburo deputy secretary for security Tendai Chirau released few details about Chidawu’s death at an impromptu Press conference called immediately after the death.
“We are saddened because we never heard that he was sick and he died just like that. The party is poorer without him,” he said.
“Mostly he was spearheading the devolution agenda encouraged by President Emmerson Mnangagwa. It’s unfortunate he died before seeing the fruition of some of the projects that he was spearheading in the province.”
Zanu PF Harare provincial chairperson Goodwills Masimirembwa said they were set to convene an emergency PCC meeting to deliberate on his hero status.
“This is a sad day for the Harare Metropolitan province,” Masimirembwa said.
War veterans spokesperson Douglas Mahiya said Chidawu “was a hardworking person who was known for promoting the interest of the party”.
Harare Metropolitan province Senator Sipani Hungwe said: “I worked with Minister Chidawu since he was young before he became a mayor until he was appointed politburo member. He was committed to his work and loved his party and leadership.”
A Senator at the time of his death, Chidawu was born in 1954 and became the youngest mayor in the history of Harare city in 1984 at the age of 29.
He was a chartered engineer and entrepreneur, chairman of African Banking Corporation Zimbabwe, non-executive chairman of Manders Group and founder of Kuchi Group of Companies.
Chidawu was also a major shareholder in Bitumen Construction and a founding shareholder and director of Heritage Investment Bank that merged with First Merchant Bank in 1997.
He previously on the board of Bindura Nickel Corporation Ltd, Pelhams and other blue-chip companies.