The first executive mayor for Mutare, Alderman Lawrence Dambudzo Mudehwe who served the city for more than 13 years has died.

Before being elected as an executive mayor from 1995 to 2003, Mudehwe served as a mayor on ceremonial basis from 1990 to 1995.

His death on Wednesday was confirmed by Zanu PF Mutare District Coordinating Committee chairman, Binali Yard.

“It is with sadness that we announce the passing on of Alderman Mudehwe. Alderman Mudehwe is well-known for his dedication to duty and humility.

“He served Mutare with distinction and will be remembered by many for the role he played in developing the city as a city father,” said Yard.

Pro-democracy campaigner Lynnette Mudehwe is quoted in another report by NewsDay confirming hat her grandfather passed away at West End Hospital in Harare on Wednesday.

“He had undergone a surgery due to stomach complications. Sadly he passed on a few days after the operation,” Lynnette told the paper.

“There were arrangements to take the body to Mutare today (Thursday) or tomorrow (Friday), but the funeral arrangements are not really certain for now because of some consultations that Zanu-PF is making about his contributions as a party member and Alderman for Mutare for quite some time,” Lynnette added.

Mudehwe is credited for pioneering the Pungwe Water Project that was engineered by a Swedish company, Skanska. The project saw the city drawing water from the perennial Pungwe River through gravitational flow.

Mutare City Council’s Human Resources Manager, Mr Aaron Chemvura said: “The Pungwe Water Pipeline is the highlight of his stewardship. That momentous achievement is brought into sharp focus if you compare it with successive councils that struggled to do a mere Christmas Pass to Dangamvura Water Pipeline.”

Mourners are gathered at his New Dangare home in Sakubva, Mutare and Mabelreign in Harare. Funeral arrangements will be announced in due course.