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Mnangagwa ‘heartbroken’ after sudden death of close ally Chidawu

President Emmerson Mnangagwa said he was shocked by the sudden death of Minister of State for Harare Metropolitan Provincial Affairs and Devolution Oliver Chidawu (67) whom he said he had shared laughter with less than a day before.

Chidawu, a former Harare Mayor and Mnangagwa’s close ally succumbed to a heart attack in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.

Mourning his demise, the President said it was difficult and heartbreaking to accept the development.

“The untimely passing on yesterday morning of our Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Harare Metropolitan Province, Honorable Engineer Oliver Mandishona Chidawu, came as a great shock to me,” Mnangagwa said in a statement on Wednesday morning.

Mnangagwa further stated that he met Chidawu at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare a day before his death and “he looked well”.

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“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.

“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,” Mnangagwa said.

Chidawu became the youngest ever mayor of Harare in 1984 at the age of 29.

He was also a chartered engineer, the founder of the Kuchi Group of Companies and was a shareholder in Bitumen Construction.

Chidawu was also a former chairman of the African Banking Corporation and sat on the boards of Bindura Nickel Corp, Star Africa Corp, Pelhams and Zimplow.