Monday, 18 July 2016


FORMER Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Charles Utete has been declared a national hero and will be buried at the National Heroes Acre in Harare tomorrow.

He will become the first civil servant to be interred at the national shrine. Dr Utete collapsed and died at his Highlands, Harare, home last Friday. He was 77.

Zanu-PF Secretary for Administration Cde Ignatius Chombo yesterday announced to the Utete family that President Mugabe, the Politburo and Central Committee members unanimously agreed to confer national hero status on Dr Utete after considering the role he played in setting up the structures of the current civil service.

“Politburo and Central Committee members all agreed that Dr Utete be declared a national hero and we briefed President Mugabe and the Acting President Phelekezela Mpoko. The President agreed that he should be declared a national hero,” he said. He said the President was saddened by Dr Utete’s untimely death.

“We are all still shocked by his death and I would want to sincerely express my deepest sympathy to the family on this hour of bereavement. The family and the country has lost a great leader,” said Cde Chombo, who is also Home Affairs Minister.

Dr Utete’s body is scheduled to arrive at Madziyire Primary School at Nharira Shopping Centre in Chikomba District, Mashonaland East Province at 10am today, and mourners are advised to gather at the said Primary School.

In an interview, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda said civil servants felt honoured by the declaration.

“From the perspective of the OPC and on behalf of all civil servants, we feel highly honoured that the pioneer of our civil service development has been accorded such a status of national hero. He certainly deserved this declaration because of the work that he did in building a viable civil service bureaucracy as you heard being articulated by several speakers this morning,” he said

Dr Sibanda said it was now a challenge for those that had remained to fulfil Dr Utete’s vision. Family spokesperson Dr Joseph Bwakura applauded Government and Zanu-PF for according Dr Utete such a befitting status.

“As a family we are happy with this recognition that has been accorded to Dr Utete. It is an honour to the family and to the people he served and we would like to thank you for this,” he said.

Cde Chombo was accompanied by Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dr Lazarus Dokora, Commander Zimbabwe Defence Forces General Constantine Chiwenga, Air Force of Zimbabwe Commander Air Marshal Perrance Shiri, Public Service Commission chairperson Dr Mariyawanda Nzuwa, and Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Mr George Charamba, among other senior Government officials. herald


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