By Tendai Mugabe
The wife of Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba, Idaishe Olivia Chengu-Charamba, who died on Sunday was not an ordinary woman, but a reputable qualified lawyer and a unique breed of a leader, who was keen to help others in society, his brother Tendai Chengu said yesterday.
Mrs Chengu-Charamba (45) succumbed to liver complications and will be buried today in Mutorashanga.
After attaining her LLB degree at the University of Zimbabwe, she got a scholarship from the British Council to further her studies in the United Kingdom.
Mrs Chengu-Charamba worked for several Non-Governmental Organisations and at the time of her death she was working for the SARDC in the legal department.
Speaking to The Herald at the Charamba residence in Harare yesterday, Mr Chengu spoke glowingly about his sister, who was the first born and only girl in a family of five.
He described Mrs Chengu-Charamba as an intelligent woman who had good leadership qualities.
“She was not an ordinary woman, but a lawyer and great leader as well,” he said. “She was born a leader and had inspired many in life who copied her exemplary life.
“She worked for several NGOs, including Msasa Project. I must also highlight that she was a Pan-Africanist who believed in equal rights with no boundaries based on racial discrimination or social status.
“With regards to her academic prowess, I must say she had always been excellent from her early days at the Chrome Mutorashanga Primary School. She passed through St Dominic’s Chishawasha and Mt Selinda High Schools before she enrolled for an LLB degree at the University of Zimbabwe.”
As a family, Mr Chengu said, the void left by Mrs Chengu-Charamba was irreplaceable.
“Words alone are not enough to express what we feel as a family about her death,” he said. “She left a void that no one can fill. She was a leader in the family and to us she was a role model and was assisting several people in need of her assistance.
“As a mother, she took care of her family and could participate in school activities just like any other parent could do.”
Zimbabweans from all walks of life continued streaming to the Charamba residence in Harare yesterday to pay their condolences.
Among the high level mourners was Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko.
Other notables who visited the Charamba residence were Cabinet Ministers Professor Jonathan Moyo (Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development), Saviour Kasukuwere (Local Government, Public Works and National Housing), David Parirenyatwa (Health and Child Care), Prisca Mupfumira (Labour and Social Welfare), Makhosini Hlongwane (Sports and Recreation), Sithembiso Nyoni (Small to Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development), Supa Mandiwanzira (Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services), Walter Chidhakwa (Mines and Mining Development), Simon Khaya Moyo (Policy Coordination and Promotion for Socio Economic Ventures), Josaya Hungwe (Psychomotor) and Tshinga Dube (Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Former Political Detainees and Restrictees).
Several senior Government officials from various portfolios were also among the mourners.
A church service was held for Mrs Chengu-Charamba at Nyaradzo Funeral Parlour and was attended by Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi, among other high ranking officials.