Charles Utete
Charles utete.jpg
BornCharles Munhamo Utete
DiedOctober 30, 1938(1938-10-30) (aged -78)
Highlands, Harare
Cause of deathcollapsed
Resting placeNational Heroes Acre
Known forBeing the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet
Spouse(s)Verna Lucy Utete

Charles Utete was the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet. He died on July 15 2016.


Charles Utete was born on 30 October 1938 in Chivhu.[1] He was married to Verna Lucy Utete and together they had five children.[2]


Utete went to Kwenda Mission school for his primary school education before enrolling at Tegwani High School and completed his A Level at Goromonzi High School in 1960. He then attended the University of Rhodesia, now University of Zimbabwe, where he graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Economics in 1963. After completing his first degree he traveled to Boston, Massachusetts in the United States where he completed an Masters in Political Science at Tufts University. He then enrolled at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada until 1971 where he completed an MA and PhD in International Relations and Public Administration.[3]


In his early working career Charles Utete lectured at the University of Dar es Salaam and University of Zimbabwe. He served as a Professor of Comparative and International Politics at Montclair State University, New Jersey, U.S.A. [4]

Utete was the Chairman of Cairns Holdings Ltd since January 2007. He served as the Chairman of the Industrial Development Corporation as well as the Chairman of The Seed Co Zimbabwe. He was the Director at Zimpapers since September 2009 before being replaced in 2015 by Delma Lupepe.[5] Utete retired from Government service in 2003 after 23 years. He joined the civil service in 1981 as Secretary to the Prime Minister and Cabinet before being appointed Secretary to the President and Cabinet in 1987 following the introduction of the Executive Presidency. He held the position until retirement. In 2003, he was appointed Chairperson of the Presidential Land Review Commission, which was tasked with assessing progress in the implementation of the land reform exercise and to make recommendations.[6] At the time of his death he was the Non-Executive Director Seed Co Limited in the Remuneration Committee.

Positions Held

  • Chairman of Astra Industries.[7]
  • patron of the Chivhu District Hospital.[3]


Utete died on 15 July 2016. [8]He collapsed at his Highlands home in Harare.[9] Zanu-PF declared him a national hero and he became the first civil servant to be buried to the National Heroes Acre.[10]


  1. Full List of Euro Sanctioned Officials, published: July 24, 2008, retrieved: July 15, 2016
  2. Embassy wanted Murerwa’s wife added to the financial sanctions list, The Insider, published: November 19, 2012, retrieved: July 15, 2016
  3. 3.0 3.1 Christopher Farai Charamba, Obituary: Farewell architect of public service, Herald, published: July 16, 2016, retrieved: July 19, 2016
  4. Directors, SeedCo, published: No Date Given, retrieved: July 15, 2016
  5. Zimpapers appoints chairman, CEO, Herald, published: May 19, 2015, retrieved: July 15, 2016
  6. Charles M. B. Utete, Bloomberg, published: No Date Given, retrieved: July 15, 2016
  7. Astra to make offer to minorities,The Source,published: November 22, 2013, retrieved: July 15, 2016
  8. BREAKING NEWS: Dr Charles Utete dies, Herald, published: July 15, 2016, retrieved: July 15, 2016
  9. Tendai Mugabe, Updated: Charles Utete dies • First black chief secretary in Govt • Credited with structuring civil service, Herald, published:July 15, 2017, retrieved: July 19, 2016
  10. Freeman Razemba, Utete declared national hero, Herald, published: July 18, 2016, retrieved: July 19, 2016