A sea of humanity thronged the Harare Provincial Heroes Acre yesterday to bid farewell to liberation war hero and former divisional intelligence officer in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Cde Samuel Katiyo, who succumbed to heart failure on Tuesday last week.
He was 65.
Cde Katiyo, whose Chimurenga nom de guerre was Zvauya Zvamaichemera, passed away at his Harare home after battling heart disease for several years.
Addressing mourners, Minister of State for Harare Metropolitan Province Oliver Chidawu — in a speech read on his behalf by deputy director in his office Mr Ignatius Mungure — said the late Cde Katiyo was a dedicated cadre and wise leader.
“Today, Harare metropolitan province has lost a dedicated cadre and leader who was a fountain of wisdom, a man who was not moved by storms but one who stood bold against all odds.
“Through hard work and commitment to duty, Cde Katiyo laid a firm foundation for his growth and development in the department (OPC). In this position (divisional intelligence officer), he served the department with commendable loyalty and dedication,” he said.
Family spokesperson Mr Wilson Katiyo, brother to the late, said Cde Katiyo’s demise has left a void that will be difficult to fill.
“As our first born and mentor, there is a big gap left which is difficult to fill. We hope by God’s grace we will be able to accept what has happened to us as a family,” he said.
Cde Katiyo was born in the then Salisbury, now Harare, on 18 January 1954.
Between 1960 and 1967, he attended George Stark Primary School in Mbare, and later transferred to Tendai Primary School in Mufakose.
After completing his primary education, Cde Katiyo enrolled at St Peter’s Secondary School in Kambuzuma from 1968 to 1971.
He was employed by Dickson Robinson Group as a stock analyst clerk in 1973.
The following year, he left the country to pursue a degree with the University of Sierra Leone.
While he studied for his degree, 1974 to 1978, Cde Katiyo also served as the finance secretary and member of Zanu-PF’s publicity committee.
In 1978, he decided to join Zanla forces in Mozambique, where he received his training at Tengwe Base.
After completing his training, he was attached to the commissariat department in Chimoio.
He was later transferred to the department of information and publicity in Maputo, where he was assigned to take charge of the adult literacy programme under the guidance of Cde Webster Shamu.
After independence, Cde Katiyo acquired a journalism qualification and joined the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation as sub editor.
He then joined the Office of the President and Cabinet in 1985 as an intelligence officer in the external department. In 1988, he was promoted to liaison officer in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
He rose through the ranks until he was appointed as the divisional intelligence officer in 1995.
He held this position until his retirement in 2001.
Cde Katiyo is survived by his wife, Betty Spiwe, four children — Steven, Tafadzwa, Tapiwa and Farai — and two grandchildren.