NATIONAL University of Science and Technology’s (Nust) founding vice-chancellor Phinias Makhurane has been declared a national hero and will be buried at the National Heroes Acre in Harare on Saturday, Vice-President Kembo Mohadi has said.
BY NIZBERT MOYO
Makhurane succumbed to diabetes at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo on Saturday last week aged 79.
“The decision to honour Prof Makhurane with a national hero status was arrived at yesterday (Wednesday) during Zanu PF’s politburo meeting. It was a unanimous decision in recognition of his contributions to the country’s education sector,” Mohadi said.
The message of the hero status declaration was delivered by Zanu PF spokesperson, Simon Khaya Moyo during a vote of thanks at the memorial service, where several speakers described the late Makhurane as “double brains”.
“My vote of thanks is going to be different from the rest. This message is not for the family only but for the entire nation and the world at large. It is directed to him, he was double brains. He has been declared a national hero, so this is the vote of thanks that is most appropriate,” Moyo said.
Moyo said the Zanu PF politburo decided to declare Makhurane a national hero after having received his impressive biography from the party’s Matabeleland South province.
He indicated that the message delayed as the politburo meeting ended late on Wednesday. Moyo attended the memorial with Mohadi to deliver the message to the family.
“Makhurane was created for a purpose. When some leave us, people cry and when some leave us, people thank God. People should not be a burden to others,” Moyo said.
The memorial service was attended by thousands of mourners at the Bulawayo Amphitheatre.
Opposition Zapu leader, Dumiso Dabengwa also welcomed the decision to declare Makhurane a national hero.
“Certainly, he is a national hero. No one can take that away from him. He qualifies; he deserves it. It is a relief to many people that the nation, Zimbabwe, has decided to give him the honour that he deserved,” he said.
Before the declaration of the hero status, the family was already making arrangements to inter him at his rural home in Gwanda today.