President Mugabe has described the late veterinary expert, Dr Stuart Hargreaves, as a hardworking and committed public servant who gave his life to liberating and uplifting the people of Zimbabwe through his work.
The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces said this during a memorial service for Dr Hargreaves in Harare yesterday.
The livestock specialist was the director of veterinary services in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development.
“Dr Hargreaves’ humble nature, his voice of reason and great respect for authority made him a pleasure to work with, even under situations of extreme pressure and limited resources,” said President Mugabe.
“He answered the call to national duty at all times. His contribution to the agriculture sector in general, and to livestock development in particular, was immeasurable.
“Where there was a threat of animal diseases, Dr Hargreaves was quick to give advice on how to contain and eventually eliminate that potential problem.
“That is why in our small way as Government, as a party and as the people of Zimbabwe, declared Dr Hargreaves a liberation war hero who liberated us in so many ways — from hunger, ignorance, poverty, racism and also to raise us in status as a nation.”
The President said Dr Hargreaves distinguished himself by choosing to remain in the civil service soon after independence at a time his white peers were leaving in droves.
This, he said, demonstrated his exceptional commitment to serving the people.
“Dr Hargreaves undertook a series of internaational consultancies that benefited many countries in the region and beyond.
“He played a prominent role in our sub-region, that is Sadc veterinary programmes and was highly respected for the love and dedication with which he carried out his work.
“Dr Hargreaves flew the Zimbabwe flag high by clearly declaring that he was a surgeon from Zimbabwe. He also argued for clear measures that would not deny less-resourced nations from trading in meat products in the lucrative markets of Europe, Asia and North America.
“Dr Hargreaves distinguished himself by remaining in the public service at the most critical moment for our country.
“Notwithstanding my call for reconciliation after the attainment of our hard-won independence, most white veterinary surgeons left the public service.
“It was at that time that Dr Hargreaves exhibited his rare qualities of seeing beyond race, colour, creed or religion.”
Acting Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo also praised Dr Hargreaves for his diligence.
“Due to his fervent team spirit and hard work, many reforms in the livestock sector were smoothly carried out,” said Dr Chombo.
Dr Hargreaves joined the public service in 1971 after attaining a degree in veterinary medicine at Onderstepoort Veterinary College in South Africa.
He served the Government department of livestock and veterinary services for 41 years.
He died two weeks ago after a long battle with kidney cancer.