Zimbabwe’s first black veterinary surgeon, Dexter Mark Chavunduka (78), has died.
He passed away in Toronto, Canada, more than a week ago where he had been staying for the last five years and his body is expected in Harare later this week for burial at Warren Hills Cemetery.
Chavunduka, who was the father of the late editor of The Standard, Mark Chavunduka, was the first black veterinary surgeon in former Rhodesia and Zanu PF MP for Makoni West.
Family spokesperson Themba Chavunduka said: “We are expecting the body on Wednesday (tomorrow) around 12:30pm. We are meeting this evening (last night) as a family to arrange the logistics and timetable for the funeral. We are most likely to have the burial on Saturday, but this is not yet confirmed.”
The family said Chavunduka, who graduated from Edinburg University in Scotland in 1964, had been ill for some time following a car accident from which he never fully recovered. At independence, Chavunduka was appointed Deputy Secretary for Agriculture before he became Secretary for Natural Resources and Tourism.
In 1983, he left government employ and went into private practice. He, however, remained an active member of the Zanu PF Manicaland provincial executive.
In 1995, Chavunduka contested the Makoni West parliamentary seat on a Zanu PF ticket and won.
During his illustrious career, Chavunduka served on the boards of the Agricultural Marketing Authority, Veterinary Council of Zimbabwe and on the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, among others.
He is survived by his wife Jane, three daughters, 10 grandchildren and one great- grandchild.