Makumbe to leave UZ

HARARE - This semester could be the last for University of Zimbabwe (UZ) political science professor John Makumbe, who is quitting teaching to pursue a political dream.

After years of fiercely criticising President Robert Mugabe’s politicies in newspaper columns, Makumbe has decided to hit the ground and contest for a parliamentary seat in the next elections.

Dates are yet to be set but coalition government parties agree polls will be held next year without fail.

Makumbe told the Daily News at the weekend that time was ripe for him to leave the institution he has served for two decades.

“I will be leaving the university probably by the end of the year to concentrate on my campaign in Buhera West Constituency,” said Makumbe.

“Elections could be held anytime next year so the time has come. I have been doing a lot of talking, now I must start doing the walking.

“I want to get into the ring and demonstrate that things can be done differently and that elections can be won without violence and Buhera West will be the case study,” he said, without elaborating how he will ensure non-violence when he does not control Zanu PF structures which are largely blamed for violence.

Buhera West Constituency is held by Constitution and Parliamentary Affairs minister Eric Matinenga, who has indicated his desire to step down from active politics.

Makumbe, who will stand on the mainstream MDC ticket, said he would follow Matinenga’s lead and serve only one parliamentary term.

“I just need to serve a one five-year term and see if I can make a difference then I will go back to university,” Makumbe said. - Mugove Tafirenyika

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