Mthabisi Tshuma, Business Correspondent
A DARK cloud is hanging in the agriculture sector following the death of prominent irrigation expert Dr Conrad Zawe who died from Covid-19 complications on Monday.
He was 52.
The crop expert who was the director of irrigation in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement by the time of his death is expected to be laid to rest at his rural home in Chihota in Mashonaland East province today at 3PM.
For years, the country has been helped immensely with his expertise in controlling agriculture defects.
Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Vangelis Haritatos said Dr Zawe was a dedicated worker of the nation who worked tirelessly to improve the state of agriculture in the country.
“I have learnt with great sadness of the passing on of our director of irrigation Dr Conrad Zawe.
“He was a true gentleman, a professional, an extremely hard worker, and had great vision.
“He was instrumental in designing so many irrigation schemes that will help with our fight against climate change,” he said.
“Although you were not able to complete your job, we will definitely ensure that we accelerate what needs to be done in order to ensure food and nutrition security for this nation. Go well Dr. You will be missed. May His Soul Rest in Eternal Peace,” posted Deputy Minister Haritatos on his Facebook page.
In separate interviews with Business Chronicle, the farming community reiterated that Dr Zawe was a pillar in the country’s agriculture sector.
Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) director Mr Paul Zakariya said, “The farming community has been dealt yet another devastating blow by the passing on of Dr Zawe. An irrigation specialist par excellence, a community developer as well a fountain of profound knowledge and wisdom, the farming community has been left poorer.
“Dr Zawe worked closely with smallholder irrigators, extension staff as well as the private sector. He will be sorely missed,” he said.
Young Champion Farmer of The Year 2020 Mr Paddington Mhuri said:
“l’m actually shocked I can’t believe it; we have been robbed of an asset as he played a very big role in ensuring smart farming through irrigation mechanisation.”
Youth in Agriculture Apex Council Board chairperson Mr John Muchenje said, “It’s sad to lose someone of his calibre. We have lost a pillar in the agricultural sector.
“He was very instrumental in setting up a lot of irrigation facilities in our country and as young farmers, we have lost a father and advisor,” he said.
Dr Zawe was a holder of a PhD and Master of Science in Soil and Water (irrigation option) with the Wageningen University of Netherlands. – @mthabisi_mthire