Makhurane declared national hero

BULAWAYO - Founding vice chancellor of the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) Phineas Makhurane was yesterday declared a national hero.

Makhurane, who was described by many as academic giant who strongly advocated for the teaching of sciences in the country, died last Saturday at Mater Dei Hospital after a long battle with diabetes and hypertension.

Speaking at the late Makhurane’s home in Fourwinds suburb yesterday morning, Vice President Kembo Mohadi said the Politiburo on Wednesday unanimously agreed to confer national hero status on the revered academic.

“We had a Politburo meeting in Harare yesterday (Wednesday) to discuss the passing on of our brother Professor Phineas Makhurane.

“We looked at the request that had come from Matabeleland South province asking us as a party to confer Prof Makhurane with some status to him. We then deliberated and found that Makhurane deserved to be national hero and we unanimously agreed as the Politburo, including the President himself, to accord our brother with a national hero status,” Mohadi said.

Mohadi said the national hero status earned by Makhurane was a clear recognition of his contributions to the country’s education sector.

“He was someone who was consistent in the party and never deviated. 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,” he said.

“We also looked at his contribution at Gwanda State University. 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.”

Makhurane was one of the first Africans to study Physics and Mathematics at the then University of Rhodesia and Nyasaland now University of Zimbabwe.

Makhurane once worked as Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe before being given the mammoth task of leading Nust where he worked tirelessly in setting up the infrastructure and turning the institution into a citadel of academic excellence.

He retired from Nust in 2004. At some point he served as Zimsec board chairperson.

He is set to be buried at the national shrine on Saturday in Harare.


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