Dr Stuart Hargreaves, OIE Delegate for Zimbabwe and Principal-Director at the Zimbabwe Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, died age 66 in Harare on Tuesday morning after a long illness caused by kidney insufficiency, first diagnosed in early 2010.
Few have contributed more to the management of animal health in southern Africa, Zimbabwe particularly, than Stuart Hargreaves.
Dr Stuart Hargreaves, OIE Delegate for Zimbabwe and Principal-Director at the Zimbabwe Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development. Picture (c) Gillian Dal, 2008
His entire working life was devoted to the control of major animal diseases such as foot and mouth disease, rabies and anthrax. His dedication to that cause was recognised widely in Zimbabwe (where he was well known and appreciated even by the general public ‒ remarkable for a public sector veterinarian) as well as in southern Africa more generally. Stuart’s expertise was appreciated internationally, shown by his election as President of the OIE’s Regional Commission for Africa (1995-1997) and the OIE’s Terrestrial Animal Health Code Commission to which he was successively re-elected for 3-year terms since 2000. All who knew him were impressed by his knowledge, commitment and dedication to improving animal health, particularly in southern Africa.
Stuart Kenneth Hargreaves (1946) chaired and served on numerous national, regional and international committees. He received several awards for the high standards he set and the results he obtained in the agricultural/veterinary field, amongst which was the award by the OIE of its Meritorius Medal in 2011.
It might be concluded from the above that Stuart was a rather earnest individual but far from it!
Particularly in his early working life Stuart was the subject of wonderful stories ‒ many involving his red E-type Jag ‒ that kept many of us entertained for years. His great attribute was to relate hilarious adventures where he was the butt of the joke; the life and soul of many gatherings. He was also a good sportsman and represented Natal under 19 at rugby while attending university in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Stu maintained a strong interest in rugby all his life.
One of Stuart’s most endearing traits was his loyalty and devotion to his beliefs, friends and colleagues. An example is the fact that he wore his old high school tie (Prince Edward, Harare) seemingly perpetually – he was tremendously proud of his school. Unsurprisingly, Stuart had a huge circle of friends both in Africa and elsewhere in the world.
After studying at the University of Natal, Stuart obtained his veterinary degree at Onderstepoort (South Africa) in 1970. Thereafter, he devoted his career to Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Agriculture, initially as a field and provincial veterinary officer (1971-1983), Deputy Director (1983-1988) and Director (1988-2002) before being promoted to Principal Director Livestock and Veterinary Services (2002 to date).
His was a life well lived.
Our condolences are extended to his wife Shirley-Ann and son Ross