FORMER Cabinet Minister Dr Christopher Mushowe, who died yesterday after a long illness, has been declared a national hero.
In a condolence message to the Mushowe family last night, President Mnangagwa described his death as a deep loss to the nation, and devastating news to the former minister’s family and to him.
He said Dr Mushowe was instrumental in setting up an educational programme for senior war veterans in Government, and ensured greater access to education for disadvantaged Zimbabweans.
The President said Dr Mushowe was “always showing a strong internal drive and an insatiable urge to improve himself, Dr Mushowe used his scarce time to study through distance education until he became a holder of two doctorates,.
“This was an extraordinary feat for a man holding such sensitive and onerous positions. He also was instrumental in setting up an educational programme for senior war veterans in Government, which was run from Zimbabwe House.
“Later, he played a pivotal role in ensuring greater access to education for able, yet disadvantaged Zimbabweans, through the Presidential Scholarship Programme which educated thousands.”
The President said the former minister was a long-time civil servant, and later a holder of key ministerial portfolios under the First Republic.
President Mnangagwa said Dr Mushowe held very sensitive positions in Government, including serving as personal staff to the late former President Robert Mugabe with whom he worked closely for many years as Director of State Residences.
“Such placements called for total trust, integrity and loyalty, attributes which Dr Mushowe exuded and glowed in abundance,” said President Mnangagwa.
“His elevation to the level of Minister of Government in charge of key ministries like Transport, and Information and Publicity, reflected not just personal growth, but the profound faith Government reposed in him.”
Dr Mushowe was a prominent member of Zanu PF.
“In the party, he started from a humble role of a war collaborator in the struggle, rising to become a Member of Parliament, and a key figure in the party’s provincial structure of Manicaland.
“Before long, he became a Member of the Central Committee, before being elevated to the Politburo where he was in charge of Economic Policy and Affairs.
The party has lost a key stalwart and loyal cadre whose rich and perceptive contributions will be sorely missed. On behalf of the ruling party, Zanu PF, Government, our nation, my family and on my behalf, I wish to express my deepest, heartfelt condolences to the Mushowe family, especially to Mrs Mushowe and the children, on this their saddest loss.
“As they go through the painful motions of grief, may they find solace in the knowledge that our nation shares in their pain and bereavement. Indeed, his outstanding contribution to his country and people should assuage their grief which Zimbabwe today gives back through the great honour and respect it accords to the dear departed,” said President Mnangagwa.
Dr Mushowe’s national hero status was confirmed yesterday by Zanu PF politburo member Cde Patrick Chinamasa who conveyed President Mnangagwa’s declaration at the Mushowe family home at 12 Nigels Lane, Colne Valley, Borrowdale, Harare last night.
He is survived by wife, Penelope and eight children. Herald