THE late former Public Service Commission (PSC) chairman and national hero, Dr Mariyawanda Nzuwah, will be buried today at the National Heroes Acre in Harare under Covid-19 protocols, with President Mnangagwa expected to preside over the ceremony.
Dr Nzuwah (68) died on Tuesday after a short illness.
He was Zimbabwe’s first black chairman of the PSC, then Civil Service Commission, from 1992 until 2018 when he retired.
In an interview yesterday, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage permanent secretary, Mr Aaron Nhepera, confirmed the burial arrangements.
“The late national hero, Dr Nzuwah, will be buried tomorrow (Sunday). We are going to follow all the Covid-19 protocols. He is going to be buried tomorrow at the National Shrine. The President will arrive at 9:30am. We expect the programme to end at 11:30am. It’s slightly different from other burials since the President used to arrive at 11AM with the programme ending at 1PM. The body will leave the parlour straight to the burial site.”
Dr Nzuwah’s son and family spokesperson, Mr Maita Nzuwah, also confirmed that his father will be interred today at the National Shrine.
“He will be buried tomorrow at the National Heroes Acre. However, we are still to receive the full programme. We are waiting for His Excellency (President Mnangagwa),” Mr Nzuwah said.
In his condolence message on Wednesday, President Mnangagwa said Dr Nzuwah was dedicated and loyal to his country.
“An eminent academic, Dr Nzuwah’s 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,” President Mnangagwa said.
“The late Dr Nzuwah will be remembered in the annals of our Bureaucracy as the first indigenous person to Chair the Public Service Commission making him the longest-serving member of the Commission to date. 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 post-Independent Zimbabwe.
“On behalf of the ruling party, ZANU PF, Government, my family and on 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 eternal peace”.
Dr Nzuwah succeeded Mr Malcom Thompson as PSC chairperson in 1992. During his time in office, Dr Nzuwah laid a solid foundation for a modernised and highly skilled public service, which is recognised not only in the SADC region, but internationally.
The late former senior civil servant is survived by his wife Janice Marie, three children and grandchildren.