Republic of Zimbabwe Minister of Education Stanislaus Mudenge has died at the age of 71. He has been declared a national hero in the Southern African state., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Friday, 05 October 2012 00:00
HIGHER and Tertiary Education Minister Isaak Stanislaus Gorerazvo Mudenge has died.
He was 71.
The veteran nationalist and historian, who was Masvingo North legislator, collapsed and died in his room at a Masvingo hotel yesterday. He was here to address the 39th Southern African Society for Education conference.
His keynote address was slated for 2pm.
On Wednesday, the minister was in Bulawayo where he ordered institutions of higher learning to stop turning away students who do not have Mathematics at Ordinary level and instead initiate internal remedial bridging programmes for them.
Although the cause of death was not clear late last night, sources said Cde Mudenge began sweating and feeling dizzy before going to his room where he collapsed.
A doctor was called from the city to attend to him, but he his efforts were in vain.
Delegates waited for the minister’s address for two-and-a-half hours before cancelling the event when news filtered through that he could not make it.
Cde Mudenge’s body was taken in an army hearse to the mortuary.
Zanu-PF spokesperson Cde Rugare Gumbo confirmed Cde Mudenge’s death last night.
“I can confirm that Cde Mudenge died in Masvingo today (yesterday). Further details will be provided in the next 24 hours,” he said.
The political leadership in Masvingo was struggling to come to terms with Cde Mudenge’s death yesterday.
Politburo member Cde Dzikamai Mavhaire refused to divulge details, referring all questions to the national leadership in Harare.
“In cannot comment about Cde Mudenge’s death. If I do so, I will be jumping the gun because he was not only a Zanu-PF Politburo member, but a Cabinet Minister.
“The announcement has to be made by the senior national leadership,” Cde Mavhaire said.
Zanu-PF Central Committee member and Masvingo Rural District Council chief executive officer Cde Clemence Makwarimba expressed shock at Cde Mudenge’s death.
“I last spoke to him at around 11am and later in the afternoon I spoke to someone who was seated together with Cde Mudenge at the hotel. So his death is shocking,” he said.
Cde Mudenge was born in a family of six in Zimuto, near Fort Victoria on December 17, 1941.
He started school at Gaths Mine, Mashaba, from where he moved to Gokomere Mission for his primary and secondary education in 1956.
He did his O-levels at Goromonzi High and in 1965 went to the University in Salisbury, where he read history honours.
He was expelled from the university in June 1966 for protesting against UDI and spent a year at Gonakudzingwa as a detainee.
On his release, he went to the University of York, England, where he continued with his studies in history, graduating in 1968 with an upper second class (2.1).
He then went to the University of London where he did his PhD and was awarded his doctorate in 1972.
After a period lecturing at Sierra Leone University, Freetown, he took up an appointment in the same capacity with the University of Lesotho in 1973.
In 1975, he was made a senior lecturer and four years later, an associate professor in history.
He then became the secretary for External Affairs for Zanu in Lesotho in 1977 before his appointment as permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at independence in 1980.
Dr Mudenge left the ministry when he became Zimbabwe’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations until 1990.
In 1991, he became Zanu-PF secretary for Political Affairs before his appointment as Minister of Higher Education between 1992 and 1995.
He was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1995, a post he held until 2005.
From 2005 until the time of his death, Cde Mudenge was Higher and Tertiary Education Minister.
An accomplished historian, Cde Mudenge wrote several books on African history.
Mudenge national hero
|Saturday, 06 October 2012 00:00|
HIGHER and Tertiary Education Minister Isaak Stanislaus Gorerazvo Mudenge, who died
on Thursday, has been declared a national hero.
The veteran nationalist and politician’s hero status was announced last night following consultations among Politburo members.
“Cde Mudenge has been declared a national hero and will probably be buried on Monday. Ministry of Home Affairs has been tasked to make all the necessary arrangements for burial,” Zanu-PF secretary for information and publicity Cde Rugare Gumbo said last night.
The Zanu-PF Masvingo provincial leadership had formally requested the party’s Politburo to confer Cde Mudenge with national hero status.
In his condolence message yesterday, President Mugabe said Cde Mudenge will go down in the country’s history as part of the founding crop of bureaucrats who took over the running of Government in ministries at independence in 1980.
The the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces said the nation had lost an accomplished historian, an educationist, diplomat and consummate politician.
The minister collapsed and died in his room at a Masvingo hotel on Thursday afternoon.
He was 71.
“In his case, he had to build a whole Ministry of Foreign Affairs from scratch, given that Rhodesians never ran such an open, professional structure.
“Before long, Dr Mudenge would be sent on various sensitive missions abroad, culminating in his deployment to the United Nations in New York, as our Permanent Representative to that world body,” he said.
Although Cde Mudenge served in other ministries and as permanent secretary or as Cabinet Minister, President Mugabe said the country would remember him most for the contributions he made in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Cde Mudenge was the country’s Foreign Affairs Minister when the land programme was initiated and he ensu-red that Zimbabwe’s voice was never drowned by powerful nations that were against the programme — Britain, European countries and America.
“He bore the brunt of those heady days, always standing steadfast for his people’s rights and interests, which he fully grasped and understood as a historian.
“Today that powerful and evocative voice is gone, silenced by this untimely death,” he said.
The President said Cde Mudenge would be remembered for the outstanding work he did in the education sector.
“Under his watchful eye, many universities offering diverse disciplines were formed in almost all our provinces. Today our country runs the whole gamut by way of focus, all of them forward looking, but never in a way that ignores or undermines our cultural rootedness,” he said.
President Mugabe said Cde Mudenge would be missed by many people whose lives he touched as a teacher, scholar, diplomat, bureaucrat, politician and Minister in Government.
“His broad works stand poignant and must give pride and solace to his bereaved wife, children, as well as to the wider Mudenge familly by whose side the whole nation presently stands in this hour of great pain and loss. To them, on behalf of the inclusive Government, our party Zanu-PF of my wife and on my own behalf, send deepest condolences and words of comfort,” he said.
Condolences continued to pour in yesterday for the former minister and legislator for Masvingo North.
Zanu-PF secretary for administration Cde Didymus Mutasa said Cde Mudenge’s death was a great loss for the party and Zimbabwe.
“Dr Mudenge was one of us since he got back after independence and worked in the political affairs and national affairs departments within the party,” he said.
“He was very active in his home province and the nation at large and his death is a great loss indeed to the party and the nation.”
Masvingo Province was plunged into mourning, with people expressing shock over the death of Cde Mudenge.
Provincial chairperson Cde Lovemore Matuke described the death as a great loss to Masvingo.
“The footsteps he left speak volumes about the kind of nationalist that he was.
“We feel he deserves to join other eminent sons and daughters of Zimbabwe who were conferred with the honour of national hero status.”
Politburo member Cde Dzikamai Mavhaire said Cde Mudenge was a key strategist and a pillar for Zanu-PF in Masvingo.
“We have lost an iconic figure, a unifier and above all a repository of wisdom from where the party drew from his vast wealth of experience as a historian, educationist and foreign affairs expert,” he said.
Another Zanu-PF Politburo member and former Masvingo governor Cde Josaya Hungwe said Cde Mudenge would remain a towering figure in the province in social, political and economic affairs.
“His fingerprints are everywhere, especially in the devolution of university education to provinces so that the poor in rural areas can also access university education,” he said.
“He had a key role in using his vast experience in international affairs to convince the world on the historical justification of the land reform programme.” Zanu-PF provincial secretary for economic affairs Cde Jusby Omar said Cde Mudenge was a staunch advocate of black empowerment.
"Cde Mudenge was a teacher, a mentor and above all a father figure on whom all leaned,” he said.
Zanu-PF provincial women's league chairperson Cde Shylet Uyoyo said Cde Mudenge had a passion for women's advancement.
"We are indeed poorer without him,” she said.
Zimbabwe Liberation War Collaborators Association Masvingo provincial chairperson Cde Namatirai Chivanga said Cde Mudenge was the driving force behind various projects to empower the majority.
Masvingo war veterans provincial chairman Retired Colonel Jefta Rupuvu said Cde Mudenge played a key advisory role in the new constitution making process.
Zanu-PF provincial youth secretary for information and publicity Cde Phainos Makwarimba said Cde Mudenge initiated projects targeting the youths.
Deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara described Cde Mudenge as a rare academic and politician.
“Dr Mudenge belonged to a unique breed of politicians in that he was also a distinguished academic,” he said.
“His death is a great loss to Zimbabwe, he was a great historian and did great public servant work during his tenure as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
“He was a critical member of Cabinet because he brought so much institutional memory. Whenever he spoke everybody listened.”
Cde Mavhaire and Cde Matuke led senior Zanu-PF leaders and Government officials in Masvingo to visit the Mudenge homestead in Bawa Village, Zimuto communal lands, where mourners were gathered yesterday.
Cde Mudenge's body was still in the mortuary in Masvingo.
He was born on December 17, 1941 and attended Gaths Mine Lower Primary School, Gokomere Mission Upper Primary School before moving to Goromonzi High School in 1961.
He enrolled at the University of Rhodesia, where he studied history and in 1968 he went for further studies at the University of York in England.
Between 1971 and 1980, Cde Mudenge worked as senior lecturer and associate professor of African History at Foura Bay College in Sierra Leone.
From 1977 to 1980, he was Zanu-PF’s secretary for external affairs in Lesotho.
At independence in 1980, Cde Mudenge returned home and joined the Government as Secretary for Foreign Affairs until 1985.
He served as Zimbabwe’s permanent representative to the United Nations between 1985 and 1990.
Between 1992 and 1995, he was Minister of Higher Education before moving to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
At the time of his death, he was the MP for Masvingo North and Zanu-PF secretary for external relations.
Cde Mudenge is survived by his wife Mildred, three children and two grandchildren.