The former Public Service Commission chairman, Dr Mariyawanda Nzuwah, who died after a short illness on Tuesday, has been declared a national hero.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe last night confirmed the conferment of the status on Dr Nzuwah, who was aged 68.
“I have received the message that Dr Mariyawanda Nzuwah has been declared a national hero,” said Minister Kazembe in a brief statement.
Dr Nzuwah’s family had earlier said they were still working on burial arrangements and will now have to work with authorities on the interment programme.
In his condolence message, President Mnangagwa said the nation had been robbed of a long serving, dedicated and loyal civil servant.
Dr Nzuwah succeeded Mr Malcolm Thompson in 1992 as chairperson of the then Civil Service Commission and served for 26 years before his retirement in 2018, making him the longest serving member of the Commission.
President Mnangagwa said: “On behalf of the ruling party Zanu-PF, Government, my family and my own behalf, I express deep sorrow and grief to the Nzuwah family, especially to Mrs Nzuwah and the children who have lost a devoted husband, loving father and guardian.
“May they take comfort from the knowledge that the nation joins them in mourning his loss. May his soul rest in peace,” he said.
He said Dr Nzuwah was an eminent academic, whose early scholarly works were in nationalist research in support of the liberation struggle.
“As a committed cadre, he placed his professional skills and career at the disposal of the struggle and his country soon after the attainment of our independence.
“Hence together with the likes of fellow academic contemporaries in the mould of the late national heroes Dr Tichaona Jokonya, Dr Charles Utete and the current Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda and many others, were reassigned from the University of Zimbabwe to throw their weight behind public service,” said President Mnangagwa.
He said the late Dr Nzuwah would be remembered in annals of bureaucracy as the first indigenous person to chair the Public Service Commission.
“He distinguished himself by ably superintending over the transformation of our civil service from a colonial bureaucracy serving minority interests to placing it at the service of the majority of our people in a post independent Zimbabwe,” the President said.