Former Minister and Ambassador to Australia, Chitauro dies

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HARARE – Former labour Minister and Ambassador to Australia, Florence Chitauro has died after suffering a severe stroke while alone at her home in Borrowdale on Monday night.

Reports say she was rushed to the hospital where her death was later confirmed after being resuscitated a few times.

She was widow to the late Defence Secretary and first Vice Chancellor of Bindura University of Science Education, Dr James Chitauro.

Chitauro was one of Mugabe’s fierce supporters, having sparked controversy a number of occasions in defense of her former boss, the late President Mugabe.

She is known for suppressing strikes against the Mugabe regime during her days as labour Minister in 1990s and once told ZCTU President, Gibson Sibanda to form a political party, accusing him of persuing a political agenda.

Ironically, the worker’s union did that leading to the formation of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in 1999.

During her days as a diplomat in Australia, she again sparked controversy in 2003 after being summoned by the Australian government for labeling then Prime Minister John Howard a dictator because of Australia’s foreign policy towards Zimbabwe.

Chitauro was then recalled in 2005 and subsequently elected as a Senator.

She and her family once lived in the United Kingdom before she returned to Zimbabwe a few years ago.

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