Mandishona burial set for Saturday Dr Gibson Mandishona

Sifelani Tsiko

Innovations Editor

Eminent scientist, mathematician, statistician and musician Dr Gibson Mandishona who died on Saturday and was accorded a State–assisted funeral will be laid to rest at his rural home in Chikwaka, a few kilometres east of Harare.

The multi-talented Zimbabwean scholar famed for his work on renewable energy, technology innovations, corporate management, township music, Shona poetry and for co-writing the song Zimbabwe with Bob Marley while he was still in Ethiopia working for the UN in the late 1970s, died after a stroke at Parirenyatwa Hospital aged 83.

In a notice, the family said a memorial service will be held on Friday this week at the Greendale Methodist Church.

After the service, the body will be taken to his house at 687 Glenwood Drive, Glen Lorne where an all-night vigil with church music and testimonials will be held. A jazz band will also perform at his home.

On the next day (September 16) Dr Mandishona’s body will be taken for burial at his rural home at kwaGwamura in Chikwaka, about 50km or so from Harare.

Harare Institute of Technology Vice Chancellor Engineer Quinton Kanhukamwe said Dr Mandishona as the HIT board chairperson exhibited “unparalleled visionary leadership in his stewardship of the university, bringing much-needed potency to the organisation, thus giving it the stamina, versatility to execute its mandate of developing, incubating, transferring as well as commercialising technology for Zimbabwe’s rapid industrialisation.”

“Under Dr Mandishona’s stewardship, the university received several national and international commendations and accolades for its hands on curriculum and innovations,” he said.

“HIT is poorer without the acumen of Dr Mandishona, the academician, mathematician, statistician, renewable energy expert, musician, poet, mentor and great leader.

Dr Mandishona was a recipient of numerous academic honours and he was set to be conferred with an honorary doctorate degree of the London Graduate School and the Commonwealth University of Business Arts and Technology for his lifetime achievements and contributions in October this year.

In 2021, Dr Mandishona was among outstanding Zimbabweans that were honoured by President Mnangagwa for excelling in various fields.

He was honoured with the Order of the Star of Zimbabwe Silver Medal during the 2021 Heroes and Defence Forces Day commemorations.

Dr Mandishona had vast interests in the field of technology innovations, corporate management, township music and Shona poetry read in schools in the country. He was also instrumental in the establishment of Zimstat, SIRDC, ZIMRA and the Harare Institute of Technology.

Other accolades include a merit award of the Research Council of Zimbabwe, 2019 Board Chairperson of the Year for Higher Learning and Tertiary Institutions, an award of the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Dr Mandishona was the first board chairman of the Harare Institute of Technology and in the 1970s he once worked for the United Nations as a statistics and demography consultant.

He was active and globally recognized in the field of science and innovation especially in the field of renewable energy.

Dr Mandishona was born in Chegutu in 1940. After attending secondary school in Zimbabwe, he completed BSc (Hons) with majors in physics and mathematics.

During his student years at the University of Zimbabwe in the 1960s, he was part of the first student members of ZANU PF which organised peaceful protest activities against the racist Rhodesian regime.

Dr Mandishona is survived by his four children Taona (48), Mary–Ann (45), Anthony (43) and Tanya (35).

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