Prof John Makumbe dies

PROFESSOR John Makumbe, a University of Zimbabwe (UZ) lecturer and fierce critic of President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF, has died.
He was 64.

Report by Everson Mushava

Makumbe, who recently went into active politics as a senior member of the MDC-T and was earmarked to contest for the Buhera West constituency, collapsed at his home in Chadcombe, Harare, yesterday  morning and died on admission at Arcadia Medical Centre.

Close family members said Makumbe could have succumbed to a heart attack.

MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora described Makumbe’s death as a huge blow to the party which two weeks ago lost another icon, Professor Gordon Chavunduka, who was chairperson of the party’s guardian council.

“I can confirm he is no more, but I am in Nyanga now. You can
call (Constitutional Affairs minister Eric) Matinenga for more information regarding his death,” Mwonzora said.

NewsDay witnessed Makumbe’s body being taken from the health institution to a private funeral parlour in the city around midday, with family members, the late Makumbe’s workmate Professor Lovemore Madhuku and top MDC-T officials, including Matinenga, present.

Matinenga, who spoke on behalf of the family, said Makumbe had suffered a similar coronary attack last week and was briefly admitted at a local hospital.

“He had a history of heart problems,” Matinenga said. “He was admitted last week and I saw him on Thursday when he was discharged. I also saw him yesterday (Saturday), he was in good spirits. I am shocked.”

The witty political scientist openly declared he had joined the MDC-T at the party’s 12th anniversary celebrations at Gwanzura Stadium in Harare last year. Announcing his intention to contest for the Buhera West constituency, under which his home village of Marenga falls, to succeed the incumbent MP, Matinenga, at the commemorations, Makumbe said then: “I want to tell you all that I have now removed my academic hat and I am now openly supporting MDC.

“There is no need for primary elections. The people in Buhera say they want a white man to represent them and I have made myself available,” he said, in apparent reference to his albinism.

Matinenga, who has indicated that he would quit politics at the end of his term, has since then been canvassing support for Makumbe where he was set to battle it out against Police Chief Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka (Zanu PF).

“Just two weeks ago, I was with him (Makumbe) in Buhera where he met people from several wards. We had been working together for a long time. Even when I contested the Buhera West constituency, he was aware of my plans and I was aware of his plans too. It is sad. This is the first time we had tried to set a precedent of a clear succession plan where the outgoing works with the incoming.”
Madhuku said he was shocked by Makumbe’s death and was still trying to come to terms with it while Head of the Political Science Department at the UZ Charity Manyeruke said Makumbe influenced several policies in his capacity as a professor and his skills would be missed.

“As a department and the whole University of Zimbabwe community, we feel we have been robbed of an academic guru who was very instrumental in various areas of administration and research. We will never be able to replace him,” Manyeruke said.

Soon after news of his death filtered through Harare, there was an outpouring of tributes to him, including from Zanu PF officials. Mourners are gathered at Number 18 Ashburton Road, Chadcombe in Harare, with burial arrangements to be announced in due course.

Makumbe is survived by his wife Virginia and three children, Rumbidzai, Simba and Tawanda.


  1. Rest in peace a political guru who could divide water and oil.

    1. Political Guru? First class sellout is more appropriate.

  2. Is Mandipaka still serving in the Zanupf police?

    1. Correct. Its called ZANU Police Force

      1. josefa chinotimba

        It’s very true my friend,it is called zanupf police force.In fact has this guy resigned from the so called forces?

  3. oh wat a sad loss

  4. may his soul rest in eternal peace.we sure have lost a giant.

  5. zanu republic police chief supretendent oliver mandipaka – stupid.police should not join politics.that is wat we are always trying to do away with.we are going to vote against the political ZANU PF which abuses the powers of the state security. ahoi the party of excellence – MDC-T.

  6. Va Makumbe rest in peace.

  7. RIP professor, its so sad that you died before seeing the country transforming into a full democratic society once again, slipping off the blood hands of the oppressors. we are together in spirit to fight the dictators. RIP once again.

    1. kufa hakuna nguva ndicharurama unofa wakadaro usinakururama. Tendeukai vatengesi veMDC humambo hwekudenga hwaswedera. Apa hatitauri zvakawanda asi tinongoti mwari vasaregerere vanhu vanofa vachitengesa nyika. Hokoyoyi nemapfupa evana vepachimoyo tembwe nenyadzonyia ropa ravo riri kubvunza kuti ndiyani iyeye anozviti anouya nedemocracy. Muchituka mwana wamwari Gabriel munotuka mwari nekusaziva mubairo wacho rufu negehena striat. Kana muchiti ndirikunyeba zvibvunzei kuti vakawana mikana yekuva zvavari kubva kunaani uye zvabva nepapi. Biti hokoyo ukaona kwawa vaviri chiziva kuti ndiwe uchavhurira mukova kune vose vatengesi batai mazwi aya. Vhivha Bob. Tsvangirai kadiki kabudza bede kaburira vakuru mushishi.

      1. DZVOMBI,- haa uri dzvombi chairo,usatitaurire nezve ropa revana vepaChimoyo, tine vanin’gina ne hama dzakafirapo tinorwadziwa nemashoko iwayo sekuti vakafira nhando. All you do is to talk about them as if they mean anything to that ZANU PF thing. We are not fools as you take us to be. What benefit are the parents getting besides being reminded of their sons and daughters. Remember even those who died in the battle front are not even recognized save for the cowards who were always on the run when they hear of Rhodesian soldiers’ presence. Nhasi moti tiri magamba, magamba ekuuraya the defenseless povo. Please don’t mention our lost sons and daughters as if you care.


      2. josefa chinotimba

        Dzvombi,kana madzibaba Gabriel Mugabe achafawo wazvinzwa.The next to die in the zanu pf camp is Jonathan Moyo.

        Sei uchifarira kufa kwa prof,uribenzi,you are a shame to your family bastard.

      3. Hamba katshana iwe Nzvombi na mwari wako lo Gabriel wakho let democracy come and we will not look back. Those Zanu Pf guys have taken us back instead of us going forward. Ikozvino Harare instead of being a sunshine city it is now work than Murambinda growht point. Vanhu vava kuita water harvesting mudhorabha, havana magetsi. we have lost someone who was a torch bearer to our democracy but we will move on and he will be in our memory for ever and we will carry on his great work. Rest in peace John THE WHITE MAN Makumbe.

  8. RIP Makumbe

  9. mandipaka must resign if he wants to contest to be mp

  10. Shame the prof is no more.Prof Mukonoweshuro,Prof Chavhunduka and now Prof Makumbe. It seems profs will sevirve in this party. RIP

  11. rest in peace king of the struggle .

  12. Enda hako Whiteman. You played your part and we shall always have a place for you in the annals of the struggle history.

  13. RIP mr J Makumbe,to me and the part at large you was a pillar if not to the nation as a whole even abroad.You was such an indutrious and visionery father who was against Mugabe regime.Just being an MDC member determines how much you care about this nation and concerned about the country development and vision I salute you RIP once again

  14. Please let us all help to immortalize the Late John Makumbe by writing and indorsing a page for him on for our children and childrens children to know that such great and wise men existed in Zimbabwe during dark times. His legacy must live on.

  15. R.I.P Makumbe we are happy u died here in zimbo if it was was in Tanzania….(good herbs for juju) As for Mandipaka ,the “earlybird cathes the earlyworm” why waste time go for it!!!

  16. Rest in peace Prof J Makumbe

  17. Rest in Peace – Learned Professor.

    To the ZANU Republic Police spokesman – we say we have always known that. Good luck Mhondi dzeZANU. Huku dzamairovera vanhu nguva yehondo dzinopfuka gore rino!

  18. Lala ngokuthula. gallant son of the soil

  19. Rest in peace Prof. Your good deeds will always be remembered.

  20. josefa chinotimba

    When i heard about the news yesterday afternoon,it stroke me deep in my heart.Prof Makumbe was a real political scientist,no fear no favour.Kwete Jonathan Moyo a serial political flip flopper.

  21. may yo soul rest in peace prof, we truely honour yu as our role model in both the political arena and the education persipective we will follow your route. RIP

  22. Dzvombi : Ndine hurombo newe unoti Gabriel mwana waMwari,ko iwewe urimwana waaniko?Tisangonyora zvisina basa ndapota.Munhu wese mwana waMwari.Kusiyana maonero ezvinhu hazvirevi kuti pane arinane kupfuura mumwe kwete.Urikuti hokoyo nemweya yevanhu vakafira paChimoyo,unozivasei kuti vose vakafa ipapo varikufara nezvirikuitika?Urimundege yemashanga,zvirinane uburuke isati yadonha.Ukateerera zvitaurwazvaCde Tongo uchatoona kuti hazvienderani nezvirikuitika.Unoita kunge ndiwe unehupenyu hwevanhu mumaoko ako,waakutoti hokoyo kuna uyo nauyo.Sorry kuruzhinji iyi space ndeya vaMakumbe.Ndine urombo zvikuru kune mhuri yavo hama neshamwari dzavo.Fambai murugare,panyu makabata.Rest in peace.

  23. RIP Prof Makumbe. You fought the good fight.

  24. Rinotanhwa nguva iripo. iii zveshuwa, vanhu vakanaka havararame nguva ndefu. RIP Prof John Makumbe. may his family find solace in the he was indeed a genuine goodman

  25. RIP general Makumbe, your vision and resolute courage shown like a beacon to the oppressed Zimbabweans, you chose to risk your life at critical times of the struggle for full democracy, may your soul rest in eternal peace.

  26. Rest in peace Prof

  27. dzvombi-uri dzvombi chairo

  28. Rusike Vadyegora

    RIP Prof.Fambai zvakanaka.

  29. Zorora n peace.’ts sad u went 2 early before wat u ‘ve bn advcatn’ bared fruts.Anyway,foot soldrs wl carry n wt è war tl we free ourselvs frm è Monster eatn’ party.

  30. Dzvombi pane mumwe wako akambo resva kutaura achiti R G Mugabe was another son of God. That person anga azvimbirwa nenyemba dzaaipakurirwa naRG. Needless to say haana kuzo rarama kwenguva yakareba abva kubvotomoka kudaro. Don’t talk about kutengesa nyika as if Zanu PF won that war. They did not. First the South African government of that time stopped supporting the Rhodesian government forcing Ian Smith and company to the negotiating table. Isn’t it funny how history repeats itself.

  31. Chinoda Mamvemve

    R.I.P. Professor i followed your life for a very long time,i read your articles in tabloids like i was reading a love story because i would enjoy every bit of it.Asi Zanu yanga ichikutyai kusa taura chete you are a hero when the time comes we will take you there kumagamba edu chaiwo.Now who will fight for the Albinos i hope someone picks up from the good professor or can someone start the John Makumbe Albino Foundation to help the helpless albinos.Go Well Prof we shall miss you

  32. O shame zororai murugare vaMakumbe Gambia remagamba our true Hero

  33. This is a incalculable loss to the family,UZ,MDCT and Zimbabweans because his political influence is measurably and undoubtedly big. God knows. RIP Prof Makumbe


  34. My condolences to the family and ZIM for this sad loss. RIP Prof.

  35. Makumbe,a true professor who managed to combine his educational qualifications,wisdom and intelligence as compared to the divisive and greedy Welshman Ncube,the flip flopper Jonathan Moyo,the indecisive and incapacitated Simba Makoni to mention a few educated but failed politicians.

  36. caroline muronza

    POLAD department has lost an academic icon. the gap left can never be filled. may his soul rest in peace

  37. The untimely death of Prof Makumbe to the POLAD department and the nation as a whole is tragedy loss. may his soul rest in eternal peace.

  38. @chimwenje history yamazoziva papi apa? a Traitor, Selous Scout whose style was an imitation of real guerrillas, the war was fought and we won, don’t try to fool ple we know everything. Stupid!!,”sell out” ask Mbonisi?

  39. What a great loss to Zimbabwe. Fambai zvakanaka, zororai murugare vaMakumbe.

  40. Makumbe could not find time to pray for his longevity. He found precious time to pray for Mugabe’s death. He was 64, Mugabe turns 89 and God continues to bless him with more years, whilst the young ones and those praying for his demise joins their ancestors. Gentle readers God is the creator and the taker of life you do not pray for the death of another human being, that way you ask God to quicken the process. But him being a fairer Lord he has his way of doing things. Makumbe is gone, Mugabe is still fit waiting for God’s time which apparently is not our time neither is it a political time. That should be a big lesson to this catholic womaniser from Bulawayo, the not so pius Ncube. I do not believe in this wafa wanaka mantra. Makumbe belonged to this side of politics that wants to entrench white interests in the country at the expense of you and me and he should be condemned wherever he is, certainly in hell. He allowed his precious academic acumen to be abused by the white man. God will judge him for that.

    1. Job 21:7 Why do the wicked live, reach old age, and grow mighty in power?

      The wicked may be seen to get away with a lot of bad behavior and even live long and prosperous lives. But don’t be fooled by that. Eventually, all unrepentant wickedness is dealt with by God’s justice.Your little god on earth will soon have his day before the one true God in heaven.

  41. Doritos PaAfcon


  42. Rest in perfect peace Prof Makumbe

  43. We mourn the passing a great son of this soil. May his soul rest in peace and may the heavens be kind enough to bless us with more of his kind.

  44. mudhara zororai murugare, makazama mukavhura vazhinji njere nemeso. tichakurangarirai nguva dziridzose.

  45. rest in peace Doctor

  46. A big blow to the nation,mdc t and uz. May his soul rest in eternal peace. Prof John Makumbe was fearless cadre. He was a political worrior among others. A reservoir of political minu.

  47. R.i.p prof, but u were never a hero like what most mdct supporters think, u were a sell out but may e Almighty forgive u.

    1. Some people amaze me.They think zanu pf will rule forever. It is a party that has destroyed itself and this is exactly why Prof Makumbe was teaching-that ushe madzoro hunosiiranwa. He wanted leaders not rulers. Hate him but he remains one of the most decorated and fearless academic and may God grant him eternal life. For those who think RG will leave forever, you are dreaming. I don’t him him but his desire to be life president and judge others. Mudhara ngaaende ku museum, vanoda kuramba vachicaona vanozouya kundomuona

  48. RIP mukoma John. Will always miss your informed analises

  49. Rest in Peace prof. Pity you won’t see the Zim you longed for. @ Cde Chihondo a thorough Z PF zombie u are. U peddle ur filth when everyone mourning a real hero. U try change history just like ur mother Z PF. 1980 Z PF won election chete like MDC T is going to do 2013. Z PF didn’t win any war. Z PF didn’t fight alone. There was Zapu too. Smith was holding out & Z PF would not have taken cities. Why did Z PF agree to Lancaster if it had won u idiot!!!



  51. vanhu veZanu Pf hamugoni kugarisana nevamwe zvakanaka.kana munhu aine maonere ake akasiyana neenyu atove mutengesi.kune munhu anyora achitaura nezveganda ravaMakumbe achivatsvinyira,achiti dai vaive kuTanzania blah blah blah…unoda minamato.Kuva mualbino hachisi chitema uchaiona nhamo yacho peuchaita akadaro mwana.asi handaifunga kuti vanu veZanu mungataure mazwi akadaro.dzokerai kuchikoro mufundiswe zvinhu zvakanaka,garai nevamwe zvakanaka Zimbabwe ndeye munhu wese,kwete Mugabe.otherwise achangoisiyawo yakadaro nguwa yake yakwana.asi musafunge kuti takapusa.nguwa ichakwana chete!!!

  52. Sad to read about this,why are Professors in MDC leaving us ,its shocking,it was Mukonoweshuro the other day,yesterday Chavhunduka today it is Makumbe not to mention some who were not profs like Sansole,Gwesela or something from Gweru even Jongwe.

  53. big blow to uz rip prof

    1. Rest in internal peace makumbe.

  54. Samurai Warrior

    Disaster is right and so is Garikai. Zanu PF haina hondo yavakahwina. Vanhu vakanotaurirana kuLancaster pashaya ahwinha. Smith akangobvumirana nazvo nokuomerwa sezvo South Africa yakange yamira kupa mari, mafuta nezvombo. Zanu PF imwe chete yakauraya vanhu vakawanda kumaruva just because havaisupporter macomrade munguva yehondo. Ndokuzouya gukurahundi tevere 2008 elections. Manje Tsvangirai ava gadzika pasi asina kana kumboridza zvake pfuti.

  55. What a great loss, RIP Prof Makumbe.

  56. RIP pained to bone.

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  58. zororai murugare vamakumbe rambai makatarisa mhuri yenyu nevana vezimbabwe tavakutosimudza imba isingadonhi foundation yamakaita ndeye mhando yepamusoro alluta continuwa

  59. He’s just waiting patiently for the place to open up.

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