Top Businessman, Farmer Chidziva Dies

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Accomplished businessman and farmer Mr Mike Gore Chidziva has died.

Mr Chidziva, who lived on his farm in Beatrice, passed on at Park Town Hospital in Harare yesterday morning where he had been rushed to after his diabetes medical condition worsened.

Mr Chidziva, 90, is survived by his wife Evelyn and 21 children.

His son, Innocent, confirmed his father’s death.

“This is a great loss to the whole Chidziva and Gore family. He was the pillar of strength and a beacon of light, always sharing wisdom to everyone who came along his path,” said Innocent.

“He lived a life full of adventure, success, challenges and above all honesty. An honest man who stood by his word and spoke his mind. He was just and fair, at times tough to deal with, but always sincere in all his walks of life.

The family is at a great loss.”

In the last two years, he has struggled with bad health stemming from old age, the family said.

Mr Chidziva, who started out in retail in the 1960s, represents an older generation of successful and pioneering black business people.

He invested in farming in Beatrice in the 1980s.

A nationalist at heart, the businessman contributed immensely to both the financial and material needs of the liberation struggle that ushered in Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain in 1980.

He owned the local Renault Franchise (now Claas), Tanaka Power, commercial real estate that is on lease to OK Zimbabwe in some urban centres. He also had interests in safaris and tobacco processing and owned one of the most productive tobacco farms in the country in Beatrice.

He was a founding shareholder and director in Shearwater, a wildlife safari, and later founded Victoria Falls Hunters, Wintech -windmills and ran a chain of supermarkets under the Chidziva Supermarkets brand.

He will be buried later this week. Mourners are gathered at his farm in Beatrice, the family said.

He divested from retail in the 90s and focused his energy on his farm, the safari and Tanaka Power and the tobacco business.

Chidziva Tobacco was founded in 1998 and is registered as a privately owned Zimbabwean tobacco merchant.

The company has invested in tobacco substantially over the past five years through contract growing, which permits it to contract farmers for direct purchasing.

A self-made businessman, who launched his career as a salesman in the 50s, Mr Chidziva was a firm believer in self-sustenance and creating wealth through hard work.

Read the original article on The Herald.