Windhoek Mourns Zimbabwe Ambassador

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By Staff Reporter WINDHOEK A memorial service for the former Ambassador of Zimbabwe to Namibia Stanislaus Chigwedere was held in the capital over the weekend. Held at the Charles Lwanga Seminary, the service was attended by diplomats, government officials and the Zimbabwean community in Namibia. Many described Chigwedere as a “quintessential diplomat” who could engage anyone in a mutually satisfying conversation, someone with a great sense of humour, wit and warm-hearted. Chigwedere died on June 23 after battling for a long time with diabetes. At the time of his death arrangements were being made to amputate his other leg. ChargÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚© d’Affaires at the Zimbabwean Embassy Alfred Mutiwazuka said due to his contribution during the liberation struggle, Chigwedere was given a Provincial Hero status, which is the second highest hero status after the National Hero. He was buried at Dudley Farm near Marondera. Chigwedere was appointed commissioner in March this year after a stint as Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Namibia from 2002 to 2007. He was the country’s ambassador to Canada from 1985 to 1989, and Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to the United States from 1989 to 1992. The diplomat was Secretary for Foreign Affairs between 1992 and 1994 and Secretary for Education from 1995 to 1997. From 1997 to 2001, he was appointed Public Service Commissioner before he returned to diplomatic service when he was posted to Namibia. Born on March 3, 1946, Chigwedere attended St Mary’s Wedza for his primary school and St Ignatius for his secondary education from 1963 to 1969. He enrolled for a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in English with the University of Zimbabwe from 1970 to 1972. At the university, he played an active role in the liberation struggle, together with nationalists like Harare provincial metropolitan Governor, David Karimanzira and Dr Thompson Tsodzo, who is now a director in the office of the president and cabinet. From the university, he taught at various secondary schools before he became the first black editor of Hansard, a parliamentary book that records verbatim proceedings in the House, in 1980. The diplomat was also the first principal private secretary to the then Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe in 1980. United Nations Resident Coordinator Simon Nhongo said many Zimbabweans benefited from Chigwedere’s wise counsel and guidance. “All of us have fond memories of the countless social occasions when we gathered either at the residence, or outside, either when there were visitors from home or independence anniversaries,” said Nhongo. Acting Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Ambassador Martin Andjaba said Chigwedere will be remembered for his sterling contribution to the strengthening and consolidation of the close bonds of friendship between Namibia and Zimbabwe. “Ambassador’s Chigwedere’s personal warmth, humility and charm will ever remain fresh in our minds. We were inspired by his example as a comrade and a career diplomat,” he said. The Zimbabwe Embassy has opened a condolence book which will be closed at the end of the month, Mutiwazuka said. Chigwedere is survived by his wife Lillian and three daughters.