Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S Ambassador to Iran Ambassador Christopher Mapanga has died.
Ambassador Mapanga died in Tehran, Iran on Thursday.
He was 69.
In a statement on Friday, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Permanent Secretary James Manzou confirmed his death.
“The Minister of foreign Affairs and International Trade Honourable Ambassador Frederick M. M. Shava, Deputy Minister, Honourable Dr D. Musabayana, the Secretary, Ambassador J. Manzou and the entire staff of the Ministry leant with profound grief and sadness of the passing on of Ambassador Christopher Mapanga, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Iran and wish to express deep and heartfelt condolences to His Excellency the President, the Government of Zimbabwe, Mrs Mapanga and children, as well as the entire Mapanga family on this very sad and untimely loss,” said Ambassador Manzou.
He said Ambassador Mapanga was a seasoned diplomat who served his country with distinction.
“He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as an Administrative Assistance in 1981. He rose through the ranks to Administrative Officer, Assistant Secretary, Deputy Director and to Director. The late Ambassador served in various capacities at a number of our Embassies abroad. He served as a Counsellor in Japan, Kenya and Namibia before becoming the country’s Consular General to Johannesburg, South Africa. He later moved to Moscow, Russia in 2011 as Minister Plenipotentiary. In 2014, he was appointed Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Egypt. In 2019 he was transferred to Tehran as Ambassador, a post he held till his untimely death,” said Ambassador Manzou.
He said the Ministry has lost an exemplary leader who dedicated his life to serving the country.
“He was born a leader who mentored many officers currently serving both at the Head Office and abroad. His entire adult life was spent in service to his country. He was a hardworking diplomat, known for his dedication to duty, leadership skills, diligence as well as unfaltering loyalty to the Government of Zimbabwe,” he said.
“During his illustrious career, Ambassador Mapanga steadfastly defended the interest of the nation and was instrumental in the promotion of relations between Zimbabwe and the various countries where he served. The country has indeed lost a dedicated and astute diplomat. His demise has left a gaping hole that will be difficult to fill.”
Ambassador Manzou described the deceased diplomat as a humble and modest fellow whose demise will not just impact on his family but Government as well as he left an indelible mark.
Ambassador Mapanga is survived by his wife and three children. – @nqotshili