By Andrew Muvishi
Zanu-PF Politburo and former Minister of Industry and Commerce Dr Mike Bimha has sent a condolence message to the Makhurane family following the passing on of founding National University of Science and Technology (NUST) Vice Chancellor and nationalist Professor Makhurane.
Professor Makhurane, who was the first black Zimbabwean to attain a degree in physics and mathematics, succumbed to diabetes at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo on Saturday.
Dr Bimha paid tribute to the late professor for looking after him and his colleagues during his time as the leader of the University of Zimbabwe’s Students’ Representative Council (SRC) in the early 1980s.
“My colleagues and I, Cdes Paul Munyaradzi Mangwana, Winston Chitando amongst others were nurtured by the late Prof Makhurane.
“We are still in shock following his untimely death last Saturday. He had a special responsibility to shape our future through his vision, enviable administrative and educational skills as Pro-Vice Chancellor of UZ,” said Dr Bimha.
“He was fatherly, but firm in our interactions,” he said.
Prof Makhurane was born in Gwanda in 1939 and did his primary 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 master’s and 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, before moving to the University of Science and Technology (Nust) as the Vice Chancellor.
He also played a big role in the planning of the establishment of the University of Gwanda.
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.
Mourners are gathered at No. 2 Marion Road, Fourwinds, Bulawayo.