The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: National Parks' Chadenga Dies

National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority director general Vitalis Chadenga has died. Chadenga, a veteran conservationist, died at the Avenues Clinic in Harare yesterday afternoon where he had been battling for life since being admitted last weekend. He had collapsed in Bulawayo last Thursday while attending a Zimbabwe-Botswana Joint Permanent Commission meeting and was thereafter airlifted to the Avenues Clinic in Harare.

Parks board chairman Mr George Pangeti confirmed Chadenga's death yesterday.

"The director-general Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, Vitalis Chadenga, has died.

"He died this afternoon at the Avenues Clinic. Funeral arrangements will be announced in due course," said Mr Pangeti.

Chadenga was appointed National Parks director general on May 1 2010, after rising through the ranks. He replaced Dr Morris Mutsambiwa whose term had expired.

Before his appointment, he was director responsible for conservation.

Since the early 1990s, Chadenga served in various capacities in wildlife and natural resources management where he was the overseer of the clearing of tsetse flies - which cause sleeping sickness in humans and Nagano in livestock -- from vast tracts of land in the Zambezi Valley.

This made the Zambezi valley habitable.

He rose to the position of head of the Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Research and Control, leading to his appointment as chairman of the Africa executive committee of the International Scientific Council for Trypanosomiasis Research and Control at a meeting held in the Gambia in 1995.

Thereafter he was appointed deputy director for research at the then Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management where he rose through the ranks to become the director of operations before becoming the director for conservation in the new look National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority. Mourners are gathered at 848 Mount Pleasant Heights, Harare.

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