President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday hailed the late Midlands State University (MSU) founding vice chancellor Ngwabi Bhebhe for his contribution in the education sector.
Bhebhe was buried at the Heroes Acre after he was declared a national hero.
Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe has been robbed of a nationalist par-excellence, a long-serving higher education administrator, historian and a scholar of high repute and global standing.
“His rich history is a record of merit and immense success, particularly in the field of higher education,” he said.
“We credit to his name numerous frameworks, which have laid a firm foundation and contributed to the sound administration of our higher education sector.
“The calibre and professionalism of the students and staff that went under the tutelage of the late Professor Bhebhe are a testimony that “Tumbare” as he was fondly known, was a great mentor and wise teacher.”
Bhebhe served as the MSU vice chancellor from 1999 to 2014 and is credited for its growth and development.
He was part of the committee that established the MSU alongside the late vice president Simon Muzenda, national heroes Richard Hove and Cephas Msipa.
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“I remember the vigour and intensity of planning, debates which usually took place through obstacles to author the founding charter and the successful establishment of the institution ,” Mnangagwa said.
Bhebhe was born on August 15, 1942 in Mberengwa district. After completing secondary education at Chegato High School, he became a temporary teacher in history.
In 1967, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Geography from the then University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland.
Bhebhe became part of the pioneering cohort of black Zimbabwean historians to acquire Doctor of Philosophy degrees.
In 1972, he was awarded a PhD in Imperial History at the University of London.