THE late Hwange Colliery Company Limited (HCCL) managing director, Dr Charles Zinyemba, was yesterday buried at Destiny Memorial Park in Gweru.
Dr Zinyemba, who collapsed and died at his home in the mining town in the early hours of Sunday, was given an emotional send-off as dozens of people that included friends, colliery workers, business leaders and members of the public witnessed his burial.
A sombre atmosphere engulfed the late medical doctor’s home, situated on a plot just outside Gweru, where a funeral service was held in the morning before his burial in the afternoon.
Different speakers described Dr Zinyemba, who was aged 59, as a loving father, husband, grandfather, workmate, astute manager who was dedicated towards assisting communities and is credited for turning around the colliery giant.
HCCL management and workers came all the way from Hwange to pay their last respects to one of their own who has been credited for transforming HCCL within a short period.
The company’s administrator, Mr Dale Sibanda, described Dr Zinyemba as a dedicated worker who led the process to rebuild the company and provided vital guidance to the administration team.
“Dr Zinyemba was appointed as substantive managing director in August last year and had been a pillar in the mining firm. Dr Zinyemba has been with HCCL for over 10 years,” he said.
Relatives described him as a loving father, husband and grandfather who was the pillar of the family.
“I have lost a friend, a husband who was also a grandfather.
I am still in a state of shock and I will forever miss him dearly,” said Dr Zinyemba’s wife, Mary Anne.
With a background in the military and medical field, Dr Zinyemba’s business leadership skills demonstrate his versatility as he proved to be a capable manager within the three-year period as acting managing director from October 2018 to August 18 last year when he was appointed as the substantive managing director.
Dr Zinyemba’s result-oriented approach has assisted the leading coal producer to rebound and saw the organisation posting a profit for the first time in 2019 since 2012.
Since then, coal production has steadily improved and the company posted an operating profit for 2020, cleared all salary arrears and made steady progress towards clearing local debts incurred prior to his leadership.
During his tenure as acting MD the organisation embarked on the acquisition of key equipment, which unlocked productivity including, among others, two new excavators, a grader, a LHD and dozer, three new buses and several new utility vehicles for business efficiencies as part of recapitalisation.
Dr Zinyemba’s career started in the medical services field as an Army cadet (1986), Junior Doctor at Mpilo Hospital and United Bulawayo Hospitals (1987-88).
He left the army for the then Wankie Colliery Company Limited where he worked as a medical officer until 1999.
He then joined a Group Medical Practice in 1999 as an assistant, becoming partner in 2000 and later, a senior partner in 2002, a position he held until 2011 when he re-joined Hwange Colliery Company Limited’s executive management team as medical services executive responsible for the Medical Services Division.
His career moved to leadership, strategy, innovation, divisional efficiency, sales, markets, government relations, and so on.
Dr Zinyemba held an Executive Master of Business Administration Degree from the National University of Science and Technology, MBChB from the University of Zimbabwe and is a full member of the College of Primary Care Physicians of Zimbabwe and an Associate Member of the Institute of Directors of Zimbabwe (IoDZ).
He was also a member of the ZISCO Advisory Group (Technical), member of the ZIMCHEM Refiners Board of Directors, and member of the Stanley House (Pvt) Ltd Board of Directors and CEO Roundtable Zimbabwe member among other affiliations.