Chief Chirumhanzu of the Midlands Province has died.

Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister Larry Mavima said Chief Chirumhanzu, born Gerald Mudzengi, died on Tuesday at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in Harare after a short illness.

“I can confirm the sad and untimely passing on of Chief Chirumhanzu of Chirumanzu area,” he said.

“The chief died at Parirenyatwa Hospital on Tuesday night.”

Minister Mavima said funeral arrangements were underway.

He said the Government was mandated to take care of burial arrangements as per the honour accorded to traditional leaders.

“We are still in consultations with the late chief’s family with regards to burial arrangements, but as Government we are assisting with what is required so that the chief is given a decent burial,” said Minister Mavima.

He visited Chief Chirumhanzu in hospital last Friday in the company of zanu-pf provincial chairperson Engineer MacKenzie.

Minister Mavima said Chief Chirumanzu was one of the longest serving chiefs in the province following his installation in 2005.

Senator Chief Ngungumbane of Mberengwa, who is a member of the Chiefs’ Council, said Chirumanzu district and the Midlands province at large had lost a leader who contributed to the upholding of culture and traditions.

He said Chief Chirumhanzu had distinguished himself as a custodian of cultural values and morals.

“We are saddened by the death of Chief Chirumhanzu and we are grieving with his family and the community,” said Chief Ngungumbane.

“He was a unifying leader who wanted to see the growth of Chirumhanzu and the province at large.

“He will be remembered for being a free leader who would interact with everyone. We relied on him on matters to do with our tradition.”herald