23 August 2007

Zimbabwe: Chief Chikanga Dies

Harare — ONE of Zimbabwe's few female traditional leaders, Chief Chikanga of Manicaland, has died.

She was 75.

Born Moud Stella Chadoka in Mutasa communal lands, Chief Chikanga died on Sunday night while attending a United Methodist Church Women's Annual Conference at St Claire in Nyazura.

She is survived by six children -- one son and five daughters, 25 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Chief Chikanga's daughter, Mrs Eunice Mangwende, described her as a hardworking businesswoman and farmer.

Her husband, Westorn, who died in 1992 was a member of the Crocodile Group who took part in the liberation war. Chief Chikanga became Zimbabwe's second woman chief in 1997.

Family spokesman, Mr Tswatswa Mutasa, said the chief died after a short illness.

"She complained of a headache and died on her way to the hospital," he said.

Mr Mutasa said Chief Chikanga was a visionary and motherly figure who would be difficult to replace.

At her time of her death she was involved in developmental projects in her ward, upgrading schools and health facilities. She will be buried tomorrow at the Chadoka homestead, Nyakatsapa in Mutasa. -- HR.

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