Former Mugabe aide Utete dies

HARARE - Long serving former secretary to President Robert Mugabe and his Cabinet — Charles Utete — has died after collapsing at his Harare home yesterday.

He was 78.

Family spokesman Tapiwanashe Bwakura last night told the Daily News that there were no firm burial arrangements as they were yet togroup, while giving time relatives and siblings demociled in the diaspora, to finalise their travels.

“We are in shock. It was a sudden death,” said Bwakura.”We don’t have firm arrangements. We are yet to come to terms with his death since it was sudden.”

Mourners are gathered at Utete’s Highlands Home, number 4 Adelaide Close.

Utete is survived by wife – Verna and five children - two boys and three girls.

The respected businessman and technocrat was one of the trusted lieutenants of Mugabe, who appointed Utete as his secretary and also for the cabinet in 1981 when he was still Prime Minister.

Utete retained his role in 1987 when Zimbabwe introduced an executive president and held the same post until his retirement in 2003.He served in that post for 23 years.

Although he had left government, Mugabe still found a role for him when he tasked him to lead the Presidential Land Review Commission, as its chairman.

As chairman of the PLRC, Utete was tasked with assessing progress in the implementation of the land reform exercise and to make recommendations at a time when the issue was a hot potato.

Zimbabwe was feeling the effects of violent and chaotic land reform which was heavily condemned by the international community.

Utete sat on many boards and at the time of his death he was chairman of Seedco, among a host of other reputable companies.

Comments (1)

vana Utete vanotofawo nhai.

vanotofawo nhai - 16 July 2016

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