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Thousands of mourners attend Prof Eliphas Mukonoweshuro's funeral

by MDC-T
08 Aug 2011 at 10:16hrs | Views
Thousands of mourners today thronged Warren Hills Cemetery in Harare to bid farewell to Minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro who died in South Africa on Friday.

Professor Mukonoweshuro was the Minister of Public Service, a member of the MDC National Executive Committee where he was the Secretary of Energy and Power Development and the MP for Gutu South.

He died at Milpark Hospital in South Africa after a short illness.

Addressing mourners, President Tsvangirai described Professor Mukonoweshuro as a distinct hero who was resilient and steadfast in his fight for democratic and real change.

"I feel very heartbroken as Mukonoweshuro was one of Zimbabwe's finest sons," said President Tsvangirai.

"Today is the National Heroes' Day, a day to commemorate those who fought to free Zimbabwe and it is befitting that today we are burying a distinct person.  A person who showed commitment, courage and had a vision not only for the community but the whole nation," said President Tsvangirai.

He said for him the death of Professor Mukonoweshuro was tragic as the minister was one of his top advisors and confidante who was always ready to carry out an assignment as given.

President Tsvangirai said Professor Mukonoweshuro showed that he was a person committed in assisting the disadvantaged which is why he contested and won the parliamentary election for the Gutu South constituency in Masvingo in the March 2008 elections.

"This shows his humility and the unwavering support he had in his quest to see real change for the people of not only Gutu, but the nation as a whole."

The funeral was attended by several ministers from both the MDC and Zanu PF, senior MDC officials, MPs, mayors, councillors and senior government officials.

Professor Mukonoweshuro was born on 22 June 1953 at Gutu Mission Hospital.  He did his primary at Gutu primary school and went to Zimuto and Tekwane for his secondary education.

In 1973 he went to the University of Zimbabwe but was arrested for student activism.  He was detained for 14 months at Kadoma Prison.  On his release, Professor Mukonweshuro left the country through Botswana for the United Kingdom.

In the UK, he studied for Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees before attaining a PhD in Political Science.

Tanzania, Zambia and Sierra Leone are some of the countries that he served as a research fellow.  He later went to serve as a visiting professor at the Duke University, North Carolina, USA.

On his return to Zimbabwe, Professor Mukonoweshuro lectured at the UZ later becoming the Dean of Social Studies.  At one point, Minister Mukonoweshuro was detained by State security agents for "inciting student rebellion" against the Zanu PF regime.

Professor Mukonoweshuro remains the only person in the history of the UZ to attain a full professorship directly from being a lecturer.  Thousands of senior government officials, ministers, diplomats, senior politicians and business leaders were taught by Professor Mukoweshuro at the UZ.

The professor is survived by his wife, Retsepile and has one son, Bradley Thuso.

Source - MDC-T

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