Vice President Constantino Chiwenga consoled the Siyachitema family following the death of Anglican Bishop Jonathan Siyachitema last Friday.
Bishop Siyachitema (90) has since been granted a state-assisted funeral and will be buried tomorrow at St Mary’s Cemetery in Chitungwiza.
“I learned with a deep sense of shock and disbelief of the untimely passing of Bishop Siyachitema, on the evening of Friday, May 6, 2022,” he said.
“On behalf of my family, my office and the nation as a whole, I wish to express my sincere condolences to the Siyachitema family for this sad loss. May the soul of Bishop Siyachitema rest in eternal peace.”
Vice President Chiwenga said Bishop Siyachitema’s wisdom and good pastoral disposition became evident when he was appointed Bishop of the Anglican Church of Harare in 1996, until his retirement in 2000.
He said it was painful that Bishop Siyachitema passed away at a time when the family was recovering from the sad loss of four members last year. A Mass was held yesterday at St. Mary’s Cathedral in honor of Bishop Siyachitema.
The family’s spokesperson, Mrs. Florence Siyachitema, confirmed the funeral arrangements.
“Burial will take place tomorrow (today) at St Mary’s Cemetery in Chitungwiza in the afternoon,” she said.
“The program will begin with a funeral mass at the cathedral in the morning followed by a burial in the afternoon.”
Bishop Siyachitema was born in 1932 and educated at Sarum College.
His pastoral work began when he trained at Salisbury Theological College in the UK in 1969 and was ordained a priest at St. Mary’s Bristol and returned to then Rhodesia in 1971 to work as a priest at St Andrew’s , Mpopoma, until 1976. .
He became the first black Dean of St. Mary’s Cathedral from 1976 to 1981 and was also the founding Bishop of Monday, now the Diocese of Central Zimbabwe from 1981 to 1996.
Bishop Siyachitema also served as President of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches from 1978 to 1998.
The highlight of his illustrious pastoral career was when he led a delegation of leaders at the Lancaster House talks, which resulted in independence.
He has also served on various boards, including Chairman of Zimbabwe National Railways, Deputy Chairman of the Constitutional Referendum in 2013, and the boards of the University of Zimbabwe, Electoral Commission Zimbabwe, Zimpapers and the Zimbabwe Road Safety Council.
Meanwhile, in yesterday’s issue of the Herald, we incorrectly stated that the late director of the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe, Mrs Rosemary Siyachitema, who died last year, was the wife of Bishop Siyachitema, so that in fact she was his daughter.
Bishop Siyachitema’s wife, also named Rosemary, died last year.