In Brief 

The late Professor Makhurane was an esteemed academic and chairman of the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (Retired 2009). On the 8th of April 1991, NUST opened for the very first time with 270 students in the three Faculties. The number of academic staff was 28. On the 19th of May 1991, Professor P. M. Makhurane was appointed as the inaugural Vice-Chancellor of the University 1991-2004). As one of the first Africans to major in Physics and Mathematics at the University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland Professor Makhurane was also the first black Zimbabwean to acquire a PhD in the sciences. He later went on to hold numerous high-level positions in the Education sector in Southern Africa such as Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Botswana and Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe where he was influential in the expansion of the university's infrastructure. Until his retirement, Professor Makhurane was Vice-Chancellor at the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo. He was then appointed Chairman of Council for Gwanda State University, a position he held until his death.

D.O.B: 13 January, 1939, Gwanda, Zimbabwe

D.O.D: 01 December, 2018, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

  • Lecturer in Physics from 1968 to 1974
  • Member of Senate representing non-professional Staff
  • Member of Admission Committee; and
  • Coordinator of Science Seminars until 1974
BOTSWANA (UBLS, Botswana Campus) 
  • Senior Lecturer in Physics
  • Reader in Physics
  • Head of Physics Department
  • Dean of the Faculty of Science
  • Inaugural Team Leader and founder of the Pre-Entry Science Course (PESC); and
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor for five (5) years
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor for ten (10) years
  • Chairman of the Building Committee for ten (10) years
  • Inaugural Chairman, Staff Development Committee for ten (10) years
  • Chairman, Steering Committee for the establishment of the Faculty of Veterinary Science
  • Chairman, Works Council for ten (10) years
  • Chairman, Senate sub-Committee on Associate and Affiliate Status for ten (10) years
  • Chairman, Senate and Academic Committee on numerous occasions; and among others
  • Chairman, Committee of Inquiry into Failure Rate
  • Chairman of the University’s Foundation Committee – draft the NUST Act (9 months)
  • Inaugural Vice-Chancellor (14 Years)
  • Chairman, Campus Development Committee (14 years)
  • Chairman of Senate (14 years)
  • Chairman of Academic Committee (14 years) and drafted the University’s General Academic Regulations; and
  • Spearheaded the development of the Campus Master Plan and the design of the Physical Plant

ZIMBABWE (after retirement as Vice-Chancellor)
  • First person to be appointed Technical Advisor on University |Education – Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education. In that capacity spearheaded the development of the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (ZIMCHE) Act, which is now law
  • Inaugural Chief Executive Officer of the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (ZIMCHE) from which post he retired on 31 March, 2009
  • Appointed Adjunct Professor of Leadership Development, NUST Graduate School of Business, November, 2010 on a five (5) year contract to coordinate the PhD Programme in African Leadership Development
  • Facilitated Leadership Development Workshops for Senior members of staff at Women’s University in Africa, Great Zimbabwe University, Zipam and Bindura University of Science Education
  • Member of the International Seminar in Physics (Uppsala, Sweden 1972/1973
  • Secretary of the Lusaka International Bursary Committee (LIBC);
  • Representative of the International University Exchange Fund (IUEF) in Southern Africa (13 years). The purpose of IUEF was to cater for the education of political and other refugees from Southern Africa during the time of the liberation wars;
  • Member of the Board of the International Foundation for Science (IFS) (8 years);
  • Chairman of the Eastern and Southern African Universities Research Programme (ESAURP) (10 years);
  • Inaugural Chairman of the African Virtual University (AVU);
  • Member of the Namibian Presidential Commission on Higher Education. The Commission’s Report led to the establishment of the University of Namibia;
  • EU consultant on the development of the Faculty of Science at the University of Swaziland;
  • UNESCO consultant on the development of the Faculty of Science at the University of Swaziland;
  • UNESCO consultant on the development of the Faculty of Science at the University of Namibia;
  • Member of the Council of the University of Zambia;
  • Member of the Council of the University of Venda in South Africa representing the Association of African Universities (AAU) (5 years)
  • Alternate Member of the Executive Committee of the AAU
  • Inaugural Chairman of the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE);
  • Chairman, Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (ZIMSEC) from its inception (15 years);
  • Chairman, Zimbabwe Institute of Public Administration and Management (ZIPAM) (1998 – 2010);
  • Chairman, Scientist and Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC) (2005 – 2009);
  • Chairman, Revival of Hope Organisation (taking care of AIDS orphans in Bulawayo (2000 to Dec 2018);
  • Chairman, Edward Ndlovu Memorial Library Board of Trustees (2005 to Dec 2018);
  • Member of the Board of Trustees of Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Ekusileni Medical Centre in Bulawayo;
  • Eminent Person of the Zimbabwe Chapter of the Centre for Peace Initiatives in Africa (CPIA) (until Dec 2018);
  • Eminent Person of the Regional Chapter for the CPIA (until Dec 2018); and
  • Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Kobe-Ramokgadi University of Science and Technology (KRUST) in Swaziland (currently being established).
  • Members of the Institute of Physics;
  • Awarded Doctor of Laws (LLD Honoris Causa) by the University of Zimbabwe;
  • Awarded Doctor of Education (DEd Honoris Causa) in Educational Administration by the Midlands State University (Zimbabwe)
  • Awarded Doctor of Science (BSc Honoris Causa) by NUST;
  • Fellow of the Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers;
  • Awarded the Presidential Certificate of Distinction (Zimbabwe) for contribution to Science and Technology Education;
  • Fellow of the Zimbabwe Academy of Sciences (ZAS); and
  • B-Drams Investment (Pvt) Ltd Award for contribution to the development of Bulawayo.
  1. Several in Solid State Physics
  2. Numerous Presentations on Higher Education,  Leadership and Management Development.
  3. Author: “Phinias-Mogorosi Makhurane – An Autobiography”  a 300-page story his life published by Booklove Publishers, P. O Box 1917, Gweru, Zimbabwe and printed by Directory Publishers, Bulawayo 2010.
  4. Chapters 8 and 9 of the book feature details of the establishment and development of the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo.

From the University Community


Prof. Mqhele E. Dlodlo: NUST Vice-Chancellor

On behalf of my family and me, we have lost an elder we related to very closely. We were always welcome at the Makhurane homestead as though we were some of the children there, Tiisetso, Temuso, Lesedi and Mooketsi. It was one of the places we made sure to visit whenever we came back home over the years. The Makhurane family and friends have lost an outstanding father, friend and relative. We are with you in sharing the grief.

NUST has lost its visionary founder in Professor Phinias Mogorosi Makhurane. He was mandated to come into Bulawayo with nothing but an idea of a university of science and technology, a group called the Foundation Committee and a skeleton staff seconded from the then Ministry of Higher Education. He had no budget to speak of and had to “think in other terms” regarding the way such a vision could grow from the bushes within the bounds of the City of Bulawayo.
He relied on rented and loaned premises from all over the city and had to invest a sizable portion of the shoestring budget in transport. He also inherited the Bachelor of Technology programmes from the University of Zimbabwe, and with his initial staff developed the curricula to the world-class standard that they have attained. His dream and hope for the institution, as recorded in the annals of NUST, was summarised as follows:
“I wish to express my personal hope that the National University of Science and Technology will grow to become a flourishing and reputable institution not only in Zimbabwe and in Southern Africa but also among the international fraternity of Universities. I hope and pray that it will achieve its Mission of, among other things, 'encouraging in all its members and in society those attitudes of fair-mindedness, understanding, tolerance and respect for people and views which are essential for the attainment and maintenance of justice, peace and harmony at all times".
In that spirit, every succeeding vice-chancellor tends to be challenged to drive for the achievement of this lofty dream.

With those few words, we say, “lala ngoxolo langokuthula Prof. Phinias Mogorosi Makhurane”. Your dream for NUST will be kept alive for as long as we, as your NUST family, have the energy, the power and influence to drive it forward. It is the least we can do to honour your impeccable legacy as a scholar and a leader.


For the NUST Alumni Prof. Phinias Makhurane as the founding Vice-Chancellor of the institution holds a very special space in our lives. He represents the founder of the springboard from which our careers took off. In the first intake of NUST (1991) the university was still small enough for a Vice-Chancellor to know a great number of students almost in the manner of a headmaster of a school knowing all his students. I believe that the first intake was forever cast into a very special bond with the Vice-Chancellor to an extent that I know a number who eventually became friends with this academic giant as his influence continued to shape their careers even after the left NUST. It is unusual that an alumnus can claim such a direct experience to a Vice-Chancellor especially from an undergraduate point of view. This example alone is one of many that can be related in terms of how Prof. Makhurane paid attention to detail in the success of the university up to taking a personal interest in the career fortunes of former students.

Today I stand as the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the university that Prof. Makhurane founded and this is not a coincidence but an example of his vision being translated into reality by us the Alumni.


As the Deanery at NUST, we are saddened by the untimely passing on of Prof Makhurane, an outstanding scholar, educationist, administrator and founding Vice Chancellor of the National University of Science and Technology. He pioneered and spearheaded the teaching and researching in Stem in the country. The current academic units, structures and disciplines at NUST, owe it to vision and leadership of the late Academician and Educationist.

One of the seminal structures that he established as VC, was the Executive Deanery, which is responsible for the academic management of faculties and schools at NUST. The vision and rationale was to devolve academic executive decision making to Deans of Faculties, who are domiciled at the academic coal face where; teaching, learning, research and community engagement occurs.  Of late the Faculty of Commerce had seen it fit to engage the late Prof Makhurane and recall him from retirement to restructure the mentorship programme for PhD students, an indication of his reverences as an Academician. From the Deanery at NUST, both present and past we are honoured to have worked under your leadership and tutelage, the invaluable and immensely vast experience you shared with us will forever be practised and cherished, it will be remembered in the annals and portals of Academic management at NUST for posterity
Condolence Messages
Professor Makhurane was a man of integrity, a mentor, a principled founding father of N.U.S.T., that  unified the academics and non-academics (the supporting staff)
as one family. To ensure that this was embedded into N.U.S.T.’s organisational climate he formulated through his simple and yet quite challenging  principle to implement,
that “all workers are indispensable”, and hence we must share our piece of cake as a family with all fairness. He sustained the principle by organising social gatherings
that embraced all the staff under one roof and also promoting terms and conditions of services that cultivated a state of equilibrium to all the employees. The late Professor
was our institution’s mentor of “Thinking in other terms”, our institution ’s motto, that opened the portals to the culture of positivity, and sharing ideas and information
towards excelling in our vision to be a leading international centre in science, technology and entrepreneurship development. A visionary was the late professor, who made us
understand in simple terms, the role of N.U.S.T. in the society so that every employee would see a student as the most expensive asset of the university.  -ICTS

I remember this day vividly, I was star struck, I couldn't believe it. We were having our first Gwanda Council meeting with the late Prof Makurane, who was our Chairman. 
I rose to introduce myself, and I told the audience that I was humbled to sit with such great men and women, considering that I was the probably the youngest and less
glamourous in terms of my CV. After the meeting, I knelt down to greet him, honouring him as a father, my former VC and Chairman. Lala ngokuthula Baba.-
Stella Nkomo - Marketing and PR Manager ZITF Company and Gwanda University Council Member
I have received, with profound sadness,the news of Professor Phineas Makhurane's death.
Yadilika intaba.The mountain has fallen. So many things will be said and written about Professor Phineas Makhurane.
He was so humble and yet, he was so effective in leadership.
Above everything else, he was a wonderful human being.
He served humanity so well. So well.
Phineas Makhurane.
A dreamer.
A Visionary.
A Doer.
Izenzo, kunge manzi.
I Nyathi eqolotshayo !
Way back in the 1990s he took us to NUST when it was still a FOREST.
He said to us:
"Here is the National University of Science and Technology."
He saw it. We did not.
NUST has grown to be the best University in Zimbabwe, and indeed one of the best Universities in Africa and in the World.
For he was one of those who achieved so much in this lifetime.
Without making any noise.
Without praising himself.
His drum beat was low yet he covered millions and millions of miles.A man with giant strides who leaves behind gigantic footprints.
He had such a positive impact on thousands and thousands of Zimbabweans of different generations.
Students, Lecturers, Administrative staff and General workers in the Universities.
From the University of Zimbabwe to NUST.
And beyond.
To me personally, he was my Mentor, my Leader and my Friend.
He gave me, a Makokoba boy, a chance to broaden my horizons. This l will always remember and be grateful for.For how many people give a Makokoba boy a chance ?
Lala ngo xolo jahalamajaha.
You ran a super excellent race.lndima utshiye uqedile, Baba wethu.
Our beloved Father.
I will always be grateful to you Phineas Makhurane for giving me and so many other Zimbabweans, both young and old, a chance in life.
And for making the people of Bulawayo so proud. So proud. You gave us our place in the Zimbabwean sunshine.
Please God take care of Phineas for us.He was a super special Man to us.
Indoda sibili.- Thomas Nkomo, Former Dean of Commerce and Lecturer in Law , Dept of Insurance and Risk Mgt

My Deepest condolences to the passing of Prof Phineas Makhurane. I went to NUST during his tenure as VC. No greater academic and stateman like him. He made us proud to be
NUSTians up to this day. Macheso would have said Best above the Rest.
May His Soul Rest in Peace,
In loving Memory,-Samuel Kodani Principal Research Officer.

What a terrible and sad loss for us all! May his dear soul rest in peace. We will sadly miss him under the sun. Prof. Makhurane was very kind and encouraging to us at the First
year Class of 2000 (Architecture). He found us in the then under-construction NUST Great Hall as fresh man busy admiring the works. he told us that one day we shall be great
architects we just need to be brave and confident in classes.
Thank You for letting me know and for the invitation.- Enock Mpofu NUST Alumnus "Class of 2000"

Prof Makhurane was a leader of his own kind, an academic giant, a visionary leader , who knew no segregation. He worked tirelessly and unselfishly, He was indeed renowned. 
We will cherish and treasure all the knowledge you imparted to us. Go well son of Zimbabwe, Go well Professor. You fought a good fight, and  finished your race and now we
shall continue the race as long as we live so that your dreams never die. Go well  skhwicamfundo.- Sipho Rutsate

Professor Phineas Magorosi “Double-Brain” Makhurane was a well-respected and much-beloved leader, colleague, teacher, supervisor, scholar, mentor, father, grandfather par 
excellence.  If only we could emulate his personality and his many positive attributes the academic world would definitely be a true engine of transformation.  On behalf of
the Department of Finance at National University of Science and Technology, and on my own behalf, I wish to thank Prof. P.M. Makhurane for everything that he was and stood
for and hope we will continue to build on his legacy so as to benefit future generations.  Deepest sympathies to the NUST community, the immediate and extended family, and
all who are deeply saddened by his passing on.  May his dear soul rest in eternal peace - farewell Prof.!-
From,  Mrs Asmarelda Chivore, Chairperson – Department of Finance, NUST

In Pictures

Professor Makhuranes' Timeline in Pictures