By Edson Gandiwa and Patience Zisadza
Gonarezhou National Park, P. O. Box 7003, Chiredzi, Zimbabwe
Impact that will never fade
The former charismatic leader, mentor, team player and friend, Faustino Takawira Madawo,
retired on 31 January 2010 after over 40 years of service with the Zimbabwe Parks and
Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA). At the time of his retirement, Faustino was
serving as the Area Manager for Chipinda Pools in Gonarezhou National Park (GNP),
Southeast Zimbabwe. Throughout his career Faustino was instrumental in enhancing
conservation efforts in the Save-Runde sub-region of GNP (i.e. Chipinda Pools) and several
other stations where he was once based at throughout his career. He left good footprints on the
sands of GNP, the region and the entire ZPWMA. The impact Faustino made will never fade,
and he will always be remembered.
Management beyond boundaries and achievements
Faustino believed in building strong partnerships with all the conservation stakeholders in the
southeast lowveld of Zimbabwe and other organizations dealing with natural resources
conservation and management. Faustino was highly respected by many stakeholders in the
southeast Lowveld and beyond, who knew they could always rely on his support when needed.
His endless dedication and service to the nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s wildlife heritage conservation and
management were recognized through him receiving a number of awards: e.g., the then Senior
Warden (now Area Manager) of the Year Awards in 2006 and 2007 among other
achievements. We are confident that Faustino can look back at his accomplishments over the
years with tremendous pride. His achievements remind us that dollars alone have never put
conservation on the land but PEOPLE DO!
Legacy of hard work and dedication
FaustinoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s dedication to wildlife conservation and management is undoubtedly remarkable in
Zimbabwe. He was an outstanding and passionate leader, always willing to go an extra mile.
For this he was much appreciated by the entire ZPWMA and numerous stakeholders in
conservation circles. Faustino believed in the organisationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s vision and mission. He worked
tirelessly in implementing development projects, such as the Public Service Investment
Projects (PSIP) that comprised road development and maintenance and he ensured he got
resounding success regardless of limited resources even on undertaking such projects. His
hard work paid off with exceptional progress in park development and management. For
example, the successful completion of the Chipinda-Chilojo Cliffs Road and the construction
of the famous Ã¢â‚¬ËœMadawo CausewayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ across the majestic Runde River.
Beyond his many professional accomplishments, FaustinoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s success as a leader and great
team player comes from him always caring deeply about the people he knew and served and
maintaining high ethical standards in the decisions he made.
Farewell Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Faustino!
As a way of bidding farewell with Faustino and his family, staff at Chipinda Pools held an
unforgettable and successful farewell party on 29 January 2010. The event was bittersweet
since it was both pleasant and painful to say goodbye. Present at the farewell party were
ZPWMA staff from Chipinda Pools, Mabalauta, Malipati Safari Area, Nyanga, Masvingo
Regional Office, Kyle Recreational Park, Chirisa Safari Area among other stations;
stakeholders in the southeast lowveld including Hon. MP for Chiredzi EastÃ¢â‚¬â€œAbraham Sithole,
Hugo van der Westhuizen, Clive Stockil, Lin Barrie, Richard Davy and family, Gwinyai Muti,
David Saunyama, DISPOL-Chiredzi District, representative from the Presidents Office, ZRP
staff from Ndali and Chambuta Police Camps, and a representative from the Chitsa
community among others. Several friends and colleagues presented farewell gifts to the
Madawo family. To put the icing on the cake, the Director-General of the ZPWMA, Dr.
Morris. Z. Mtsambiwa also came to bid farewell in person to the Madawo family at Chipinda
Pools and presented the family with a present. On behalf of the Madawo Farewell Party
Organizing Committee, staff of Chipinda Pools and our own behalf, we would like to express
our sincere appreciation and gratitude to all those who made this farewell party successful.
It was hard to say GoodbyeÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Faustino T. Madawo (standing) delivering his farewell message
at a ceremony held at Chipinda Pools in GNP
Proceedings at the farewell ceremony...
Knowing Faustino, he will still be connected to wildlife conservation and management and he
will be involved in enhancing conservation of wildlife resources in Zimbabwe. We will always miss Faustino and his family. But it is also a time for those of us who share his vision to renew our commitment to building the kind of hard work and dedication that Faustino showed. In this way we will keep the conservation status of GNP, the entire Parks and Wildlife Estates and Zimbabwe high.
Photography courtesy of Edmond Chirongedzo.