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PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has said the nation has been robbed of an outstanding scholar and educationist in Professor Phineas Makhurane, who died at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo yesterday.
Mnangagwa said Professor Makhurane has been unwell for some time but expected him to recover.
“Although I knew that Professor Makhurane had been unwell for quite some time, still I hoped that he would pull through and recover, and be able to be with us for much longer so that our Nation, particularly our higher education sector, would continue to tap from his vast and inimitable knowledge and experience in higher education,” said President Mnangagwa.
He added said the country is poorer without him
“[His] death has robbed our Nation of an outstanding scholar, educationist and founder-administrator of key institutions of our tertiary education. Quiet and unassuming, there was the other side to the late departed which his remarkable modesty kept away from public gaze. He was a strong nationalist whose privileged position as a man of letters with stable prospects even under colonial conditions did not blunt or diminish. He grew and pursued his academic career a key part of nationalist politics then under the banner of ZAPU, a sister Liberation Movement. He kept connected to, and involved in, the whole process of the National Liberation Struggle, even as he taught at the University of Botswana,” the President said.
He added: “At Independence, he heeded the call to come back home and help with the reconstruction of our nation, concentrating his efforts in the area he knew and did best, namely that of higher education. He helped raise generations of students and scholars, many of who occupy influential positions in the country and beyond.”
Professor Makhurane was redeployed from the then sole University of Zimbabwe where he had risen to Vice-Chancellorship, to found the seminal National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in 1991 and retired in 2005.
Mnangagwa also said as the nation mourns Professor Makhurane’s his passing on, “we, at the same time, celebrate this incomparable bequest to our nation by which he shall be remembered across generations.”
He urged the Makhurane family to derive comfort from their relative’s outstanding deeds, which have left an indelible mark on the nation. — zbc