The late Minister of State for Provincial Affairs for Harare Metropolitan Province, Oliver Chidawu was a committed and humble revolutionary cadre who served with utmost loyalty, President Mnangagwa said.
Chidawu succumbed to a heart attack in Harare. He was 68.
In his condolence message, President Mnangagwa said, “The untimely passing on yesterday morning of our Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Harare Metropolitan Province, Honorable Senator Engineer Oliver Mandishona Chidawu, came as a great shock to me.
“It was only less than a day before his demise that I shared moments of laughter and joy with him together with many others at an event at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare. He looked well and in happy spirits.”
“It is therefore, heart-breaking and difficult to accept that our dear departed comrade is gone forever. Our Nation has indeed lost a very humble Minister of Government, a strong revolutionary cadre of the Party, ZANU PF, who served both with utmost loyalty, commitment and dedication.”
He added, “We shall always remember him by the different roles he played in the service of his country and people, both during the liberation struggle and after Independence. A staunch believer in indigenization, the late Cde Chidawu was among the earliest of our citizens who founded soon after Independence their own companies, in his case, a civil engineering outfit.
“To that extent, he anticipated the national bid to localise businesses and enlarge ownership of our stake in the economy.”
“On behalf of ZANU, PF, Government, my family, and indeed on my behalf, I wish to express my deepest condolences to the Chidawu family, especially to his wife Spiwe and the children, who have lost a loving husband and great father. May they take comfort from the knowledge that we stand together during this their darkest hour of grief.”
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.