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    Saturday, 24 September 2016

    Bikita DEO Jenjezwa dies


    – Veteran educationist and Bikita District Education Officer, Lawrence Jenjezwa (63) has died.
    He died at Parirenyatwa Hospital at 11am on Sunday morning.
    Bikita District and the whole education sector was shocked as the news of the death of a humble leader, sociable, hardworking and fatherly figure filtered into all the corners of the province on Sunday afternoon.
    Marius Zibgwi, son to the late Jenjezwa confirmed the death to The Mirror and said his father had battled diabetes for a long time and this took Jenjezwa in and out of hospital for many years.
    Masvingo Provincial Education Director, Zedius Chitiga described the loss as irreplaceable.
    Four church services were held for him, one at a chapel in Harare on Monday which was attended by tens of district education officers who were attending a workshop there.  Also in attendance at that service was the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Sylivia Utete Masango.
    A second service was at Doves in Masvingo at on Tuesday, the third at Nyika Growth Point and the fourth  was held at his rural home at Mutimba Village under Chief Mazungunye in Bikita on Wednesday.
    He was buried in Chief Mazungunye area.
    Workmates, friends and members of the public described Jenjedzwa as an icon.
    "We have lost a hero in the education sector, he was hardworking and the void he has left will be difficult to fill, the education fraternity will be poorer without him," said Chitiga.
    "He died at Parirenyatwa where he was admitted from Michael Gefund Hospital in Harare after his condition started deteriorating; when we talked to him we never suspected that the worst could happen," said Zibgwi.
    Jenjezwa was born at Silveira Mission in Bikita and went to Museti School for his primary education.
    He did Form1 up to Form 4 at Silveira Mission and went to Goromonzi High School for 'A' Level.
    Jenjezwa proceeded to the then University of Rhodesia where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English and later did his Graduate Certificate and started his teaching career at Mpopoma High School in Bulawayo.
    During his stint at Mpopoma he introduced Shona language as one of the subjects offered and it was the first school to do so in the region.
    He was later transferred to Magwegwe High School in the same city and promoted to the post of deputy headmaster.
    He was appointed Education Officer for administration responsible for disciplinary matters for teachers and settling disputes and  was appointed District Education Officer for Bikita in 2005, a post he held until the time of his death.
    He presided over the construction of the Better Schools Programme District headquarters in Bikita which is a model in the province.
    "Because of his condition he could not assume the post of deputy provincial director in Mashonaland East as a result he had to continue working from near home as a DEO," said Zibgwi.
    Chioniso Maradza, Bikita district inspector for primary education described the death of Jenjezwa as a big loss to the district.
    "We worked together very well, he was a father figure to all especially teachers, he liked professional growth in teachers. He transformed Bikita to be the choice of every teacher due to his leadership style.
    "He had passion for his work as he would be the first to report for work and the last to leave the station and would mingle with people from all walks of life. In a nutshell he was a person of quality.
    "His motto was, 'Aspire and Inspire until you Expire'. When he joined Bikita there were only four A Level schools but at the time of his death there were 21 of them," said Maradza.
    "My uncle was a man of principle and would encourage us to go to school to the highest level, he also taught us to be disciplined in life," said Kudzai Zibgwi a nephew to the deceased.
    Martin Marima, son to the deceased's brother said he was a good family man.
    "We have been robbed of a father who was very caring. He taught us to be fair in life, hardworking and responsible.
    "We learnt from him that being a father is more than the biological aspect but to love everyone including the extended family, he treated every family member the same," added Zibgwi.
    Jenjezwa is survived by five children, four girls and one boy, wife Jesca and several grandchildren.
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