President Emmerson Mnangagwa has mourned the passing on of prominent prolific Zimbabwe author Charles Mungoshi who died on Saturday after a long illness.

In a statement to ZBC News, President Mnangagwa said Mungoshi’s death, which comes barely a couple of weeks after the nation lost Dr Oliver Mtukudzi, is a heavy blow to the arts industry and the country as a whole.

He described Mungoshi as ranking high among a pioneering generation of national writers who used the pen to creatively engage the national question especially in colonial days when issues of decolonisation and African cultural self-expression took centre stage.

“What put the late Cde Mungoshi in a league of his own was his use of both, his mother tongue, Shona, and the foreign English Language to express himself, thus shaping a broad, bilingual literary tradition for our nation,” said President Mnangagwa.

President Mnangagwa said the nation will forever cherish the late Mungoshi’s timeless gift to the nation of many novels, plays and poems which he penned and published, many of which continue to feature as set books for schools and college examinations in the country, the region and on the continent.

“We too, thank him for his outstanding role in mentoring young writers during his days as a writer-in-residence at the University of Zimbabwe, and as a founder-participant in the Zimbabwe International Book Fair. We owe it to prominent writers like the late Charles Mungoshi that Zimbabwe today stands tall as a literary nation,” he said.

The President expressed his deepest condolences to the Mungoshi family, in particular, to Amai Jesesi Mungoshi and the children on their saddest loss.