Bernard Chidzero was a Zimbabwean economist, writer and politician. He is most known for having run for secretary general of the United Nations in 1990. He was Zimbabwe's finance minister between 1983 and 1995. He was succeeded by Ariston Chambati.

Bernard Chidzero
Bernard Chidzero.png
Born Bernard Thomas Gibson Chidzero
July 1, 1927
Salisbury, Rhodesia
Died August 8, 2002 (aged 75)
Resting place Heroes Acre, Harare.
Residence Rhodesia
Nationality Zimbabwean
Citizenship Rhodesian
Alma mater
  • University of Ottawa
  • Politician
  • Economist
  • Writer
Known for Ran the Secretary General of the UN.
Political party ZANU
Opponent(s) Rhodesian Front
Spouse(s) Micheline Dusablon
Children Bernard Chidzero Jr
Parent(s) James Kangolwa Imfa Idzalero and Agnes Munhumumwe



Bernard Chidzero was born at Arlington Estate in Salisbury in 1927, the son of a Malawian immigrant and Shona mother. He was the eldest of seven children. Chidzero did his primary school at Jonasi-Chiremba-Mudiki, and moved to Kutama for his secondary school where he was school mates with Robert Mugabe. It is said they were in the school band. After secondary he went to St Francis College, Marinahill, Natal in South Africa.[1]

In 1952 he joined Pius XII University College in Lesotho for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and then later went to University of Ottawa in Canada in 1955 to study Political Science. He met his wife in Canada during studies and they later married in the UK at Nuffield College, Oxford, in 1958.[1]

Political career

In June 1960, Chidzero joined the National Democratic Party (NDP). Chidzero left Rhodesia the same year when he was appointed to the United Nations as Economic Affairs officer under the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Later he became director of the UN Special Fund Programme. He then became resident representative of the UNDP in Nairobi before moving to Geneva in 1968 as Director of the Commodities Division of the UN Conference on Trade and Development.

At independence in 1980, Chidzero was appointed to the Senate and became the country’s first Minister of Economic Planning and Development in May of that year.[1]

In 1988 Chidzero was appointed Senior Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, a post he held until his retirement from public life in April 1995.[1] He health had been failing since 1993. He was then appointed Special Economic Adviser to the Government up to 2001.


Chidzero died in 2002 at the Avenues Clinic in Harare.

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Chidzero: Illustrious son of the soil , The Herald, Published: 20 July 2015, Retrieved: 2 Nov 2016