Blessings Chidakwa Herald Reporter
THE late Professor Claude Mararike has been granted a State assisted funeral.
Prof Mararike, who had been a senior sociology lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, died last Thursday at the age of 82.
Deputy Presidential spokesperson Mr Regis Chikowore announced the decision by President Mnangagwa to grant Prof Mararike a State assisted funeral in a statement yesterday.
The late Prof Mararike was mourned across the political divide, with the ruling Zanu PF describing him as an astute Pan-African thinker who devoted intellectual labour to the betterment of Zimbabwe.
In a statement, Zanu PF National Political Commissar Dr Mike Bimha said: “He will be remembered for advancing indigenous knowledge systems and inclusive empowerment which aids in appreciating the great potential in Africa and in Zimbabwe in particular.”
Dr Bimha said Prof Mararike was a proponent of indigenous solutions to indigenous problems and a departure from Western-prescribed modes of development.
Prof Mararike was one of post-Independence Zimbabwe’s earliest public intellectuals.
Academics described him as a person who contributed to national development and conservation of culture and heritage. In the 1990s and early 2000s, Prof Mararike was widely known for his regular appearances on ZBC talk show Zvavanhu, where he used to deep dive into concepts of Africanism with his contemporaries, Dr Vimbai Chivaura, Professor Sheunesu Mupepereki and Dr Tafataona Mahoso. Of the quartet, only Dr Tafataona Mahoso is alive.
University of Zimbabwe Economics lecturer Professor Albert Makochekana said Prof Maararike was a conserver of Zimbabwean and African culture.
“It was fortunate for me that I worked with him in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Zimbabwe.
“He was an eminent professor. He knew Ubuntu. Despite the fact that he was an academic, he remained vigilant and stood up for African culture. The academic domain has lost a brave man,” he said.