VETERAN educationist and former principal of Kwekwe Polytechnic, Cephas Mbudzi, has died aged 66.
By Learnmore Nyoni
According to close family members, Mbudzi succumbed to diabetes and kidney complications at the weekend.
An educationist, farmer and family man, Mbudzi is survived by four children and five grandchildren.
He retired from the public service in August last year, ending an illustrious 45-year career in the education sector.
He was so passionate about education that colleagues labelled him “Doctor TVET”, for his profound interest in Technical Vocational Education and Training, and was instrumental in the design and setting up of TVET degrees in polytechnics.
Mbudzi started his education career as a secondary school mathematics teacher at Chibi High School in 1972, before joining Gweru Teachers College as a curriculum studies lecturer 10 years later.
He was one of founding members of the Zimbabwe Intergrated Teacher Education Course (ZINTEC) programmes in 1981 at Masvingo Teachers College, where he was vice-principal.
He later worked as vice-principal of Chinhoyi Technical Teachers College and Mutare Polytechnic for six years, after which he joined Kwekwe Polytechnic, where he worked until his retirement.
Mbudzi sat on various regional educational boards such as the Sadc technical committee on certification and accreditation, Sadc regional framework and quality assurance, country representative on the Sadc technical Committee on TVET, Sadc open and distance learning technical committee and the national steering committee of the Zimbabwe Qualifications Framework, among others.
During his stint at Kwekwe Polytechnic, he won many local and international awards for propelling the institution to gain international
Kwekwe Polytechnic acting principal Callisto Muzongondi described Mbudzi as an astute academic, whose footprints in the higher education sector were indelible.
“We surely have lost a very polished academic and firm believer in the TVET system. We join Mrs Mbudzi, the family and the nation at large in mourning this selfless leader who gave his all in the transformation and development of polytechnic education in Zimbabwe,” he said.
“We will never forget his work which remains etched in our minds and hearts forever. It is a great loss both to myself, the institution and the nation at large.”
Family friend and fellow academic, Mary Mapanga described Mbudzi as an academic par excellence and his death as a loss to the nation.
“He was a pillar of strength for his family and a reservoir of knowledge for his workmates and students. It’s a great loss for his family, friends and colleagues, to the education fraternity and the nation as a whole,” she said.