FORMER University of Zimbabwe Vice-Chancellor and MDC-T senior official Professor Gordon Lloyd Chavunduka has died. He was 82.
The MDC-T confirmed Chavunduka’s death, saying he had been unwell for the past couple of years and he passed on in Harare on Friday.
MDC-T national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa described Chavunduka as an “oasis of wisdom” whose guidance in national politics would be missed by all.
At the time of his death, Chavunduka was in the MDC-T Guardian Council, a platform for elders in the party to give wisdom and direction to the leadership.
“We received the tragic news of the untimely death of one of our doyens in the struggle for democracy and real change. He was a leader in the party of excellence, an oasis of wisdom and stability,” said Chamisa.
Born in 1931 at St Augustine’s Mission in Penhalonga, Mutare district, Chavunduka did his secondary education at Goromonzi High School in Mashonaland East before obtaining a diploma in agriculture.
He proceeded to obtain a BA in Sociology and Social Anthropology from the University of California in the United States, an MA in Sociology from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, and a PhD in Medical Sociology from the University of London.
The esteemed academic worked his way up the academic ranks from assistant lecturer in 1966 to professor of sociology from 1979 to 1992, when he was then appointed Vice-Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe for a five-year contract period.
In 1979, Chavunduka served as a member of the Abel Muzorewa delegation at the Lancaster House Conference which culminated in Zimbabwe’s independence the following year.
He also assumed the presidency of the Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers’ Association (Zinatha) and published numerous books on traditional medicine.
Mourners are gathered at his Mount Pleasant home in Harare and by the time of going to print last night, burial arrangements were not yet clear.