Former Electoral Supervisory Commission chair Bishop Dr Ralph Peter Hatendi has died.
He was 91. Bishop Hatendi succumbed to chronic heart and lung diseases on Friday at Avenues Clinic in Harare, where he had been admitted two days earlier.
Family spokesperson and daughter Mrs Pauline Makoni said, “He had been battling chronic heart and lung diseases for over 10 years. He was a truly loving father and an inspirational man who feared the Lord and the church.”
Anglican Diocese of Harare Bishop Chad Gandiya said Bishop Hatendi’s death was a great loss.
“The sudden death of Dr Hatendi came to us as a shock, he will be fondly remembered for his contributions to the national church in advancing theological education,” he said.
“He came into office (as Bishop of Harare and Mashonaland) during crucial time towards Independence. His contributions in terms of support to nationalist leaders is well documented. He will be missed.”
Bishop Hatendi was born in 1927 in Manicaland and attended school at St Augustine’s in Penhalonga.
He proceeded to Associate of Kings College in London where he studied Theology, subsequently earning a doctorate in Divinity at World University in 1987.
He was the first black bishop of the Diocese of Harare in 1979, holding the office until his retirement in 1995, therefter being appointed chairperson of the then Electoral Supervisory Commission.
At the time of his death, he was the assistant Bishop in the diocese of Harare
A funeral service will be held in his honour tomorrow at St Anne’s Anglican Cathedral in Harare at 9am.
Bishop Hatendi’s body will be cremated and his ashes interred in the cathedral at a date to be announced.
He is survived by his wife Jane, four children, 11 grandchildren and two grand-great children.-Sundaymail