Bu­l­awayo bids Makhurane farewell

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Aux­ilia Ka­ton­go­mara Bu­l­awayo Bureau

BU­L­AWAYO yesterday bade farewell to na­tional hero and Na­tional Univer­sity of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy (NUST) found­ing Vice Chan­cel­lor Pro­fes­sor Phineas Mo­gorosi Makhurane, with aca­demics lead­ing a pro­ces­sion to pay their last re­spects to the il­lus­tri­ous aca­demic, ahead of his burial in Gwanda to­day.

Prof Makhurane died at Mater Dei Hos­pi­tal in Bu­l­awayo last Satur­day aged 79.

Aca­demics at NUST, led by the in­sti­tu­tion’s Vice Chan­cel­lor Pro­fes­sor Mqhele Dlodlo, held a send-off pro­ces­sion in hon­our of the revered aca­demic who founded the in­sti­tu­tion in 1991.

Prof Makhurane was on Wed­nes­day de­clared a na­tional hero by the ZANU-PF Polit­buro.

He will be laid to rest at his ru­ral home in Gungwe, Gwanda South, to­day as per his wishes, his fam­ily said.

A brief farewell cer­e­mony at­tended by staff mem­bers, Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and the Bu­l­awayo com­mu­nity was held at NUST.

NUST coun­cil chair­man Am­bas­sador Zenzo Nsimbi said it was be­fit­ting for the in­sti­tu­tion to recog­nise his vi­sion and ef­forts by bid­ding him farewell where it all started.

“It was at this place on the 26th of Oc­to­ber 1991 that Pro­fes­sor Makhurane, the found­ing Vice Chan­cel­lor of NUST, laid this foun­da­tion stone you see to­day. Prof Makhurane trans­formed a for­est into this cen­tre of ex­cel­lence that has groomed grad­u­ates who are not only cer­tifi­cate hold­ers, but have taken cen­tre stage in Zim­babwe’s in­dus­tries and be­yond. Loosely put, Prof Makhurane is NUST. Kaqhatshwanga njenga­ba­nengi bethu abal­apha. Nguye owa­sun­gula i NUST. Si­lapha kungemisebenzi yakhe,” he said.

Am­bas­sador Nsimbi ex­pressed grat­i­tude to the ZANU-PF Polit­buro which saw it fit to de­clare Prof Makhurane a na­tional hero.

“His vi­sion and works prove be­yond mea­sure that this is a be­fit­ting sta­tus. As such we would like to thank the State for the sup­port it has ren­dered to this great pro­gramme,” he said.

Prof Dlodlo nar­rated Prof Makhurane’s fam­ily tree and said he was happy to be among Vice Chan­cel­lors who were nur­tured and groomed by the re­spected aca­demic.

Af­ter the send-off ser­vice, the body was taken to Mzi­likazi Bar­racks from where it was flown to Gungwe for burial to­day.

The body was seen off by the Minister of State for Mata­bele­land South Pro­vin­cial Af­fairs Cde Abed­nico Ncube, Mat South pro­vin­cial ad­min­is­tra­tor Ms Sithandiwe Ncube, se­cu­rity forces and fam­ily mem­bers.

Prof Makhurane, de­scribed by many as “dou­ble brain”, died last Satur­day at Mater Dei Hos­pi­tal in Bu­l­awayo af­ter bat­tling di­a­betes and hy­per­ten­sion for a long time.

Vice Pres­i­dent Cde Kembo Mo­hadi an­nounced the ZANU-PF Polit­buro’s unan­i­mous de­ci­sion to ac­cord Prof Makhurane hero’s sta­tus on Thurs­day morn­ing at the late aca­demic’s home in Four­winds sub­urb, Bu­l­awayo.

He said the de­ci­sion to hon­our Prof Makhurane with na­tional hero sta­tus was in recognition of his con­tri­bu­tion to the coun­try’s ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor.

“We were to­gether with Makhurane in Zam­bia and at one time he was in charge of the in­ter­na­tional univer­sity ed­u­ca­tion fund un­der which quite a num­ber of lib­er­a­tion move­ment cadres ac­quired their higher and ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion. We also looked at his con­tri­bu­tion at Gwanda State Univer­sity,” said VP Mo­hadi.

“Af­ter in­de­pen­dence, he con­tin­ued to con­trib­ute to the coun­try’s ed­u­ca­tion and we then all agreed that in terms of the up­lift­ment of the na­tion of Zim­babwe ed­u­ca­tion­ally, Prof Makhurane ex­celled and had con­trib­uted quite a lot to what Zim­babwe is to­day and there­fore that recognition should not go un­no­ticed.”

Prof Makhurane was born in Gwanda in 1939 and did his pri­mary school ed­u­ca­tion in the dis­trict be­fore en­rolling at Che­gato in Mberengwa, Manama in Gwanda, Mnene again in Mberengwa and Fletcher High School in Gweru for his sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion.

He went to the then Univer­sity of Rhode­sia (now Univer­sity of Zim­babwe) for his first de­gree where he ma­jored in Math­e­mat­ics

◆ and Physics and pro­ceeded to the United King­dom where he at­tained a Masters’ de­gree and a PhD in Physics.

Prof Makhurane later worked as a lec­turer at the Univer­sity of Zam­bia where he helped many lo­cals and Zam­bians, in­clud­ing Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa, to get schol­ar­ships.

He also worked at the Univer­sity of Botswana where he was Dean of the Fac­ulty of Sci­ence un­til In­de­pen­dence when he de­cided to come back home to work at the Univer­sity of Zim­babwe where he be­came the Pro Vice-Chan­cel­lor. He was the found­ing Na­tional Univer­sity of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy (Nust) Vice Chan­cel­lor.

Af­ter leav­ing Nust, Prof Makhurane was tasked by Gov­ern­ment to be a tech­ni­cal ad­vi­sor in higher ed­u­ca­tion and was ap­pointed Zim­babwe Coun­cil for Higher Ed­u­ca­tion (Zim­che) chair­per­son un­til his re­tire­ment.

He also played a big role in the plan­ning of the es­tab­lish­ment of the Gwanda State Univer­sity.

Prof Makhurane was Zapu’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Swe­den dur­ing the strug­gle for in­de­pen­dence.

He is sur­vived by his wife, four chil­dren — three sons and a daugh­ter — and six grand­chil­dren.

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa and First Lady Aux­il­lia Mnan­gagwa ar­rive for the ZANU-PF Women's League Na­tional Assem­bly meet­ing at the party’s head­quar­ters in Harare yesterday. —(Pic­ture by Tawanda Mudimu)

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