Chipinge’s Makwambeni – Obituary

The late Leonard Tsidzirai Makwambeni.
Chipinge Correspondent
Chipinge – Leonard Tsidzirai Makwambeni (68), a retired Chipinge schools inspector who died in Bulawayo a week ago has been declared a provincial hero.
He was buried at Checheche in Chipinge on Wednesday last week.
Many who gave testimonies at the funeral hailed his immense contribution to the education sector and described him as a man with empathy for the downtrodden.
His eldest son Blessing could not be at the funeral because he is under lockdown in South Africa. A speech however, read on his behalf described the late as a man who immensely cared for his family and supported his children’s education.
Blessing is a media studies lecturer in South Africa.
Two of the late’s sons are medical doctors, two daughters and another son are teachers while another is a social worker.
“To inspire me, my father once took me to UZ in 1997 where he was graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Educational Management. When I finally went to University, he chaperoned me and left me ensconced in Manfred Hostel.
“He is a man who had modest beginnings as a Maronga boy only to bestride the Chipinge district like a Colossus in the words of William Shakespeare,’’ Blessing said.
Makwambeni attended Maronga and Mwacheta schools for his primary education. He went to Chikore Secondary School, Kutama College for his T3 and finished the programme at Bondolfi Teachers’ College in 1975.
Dr George Mandlazi said the late met his wife, Rita at Bondolfi.
The first school that Makwambeni headed was Marucheni Primary School in Masvingo. He had taught at Citrus Primary School from 1976-7. He headed Emerald School in 1985.
Tobias Matanga, a Zanu PF National Consultative Assembly member said that the late had a great sense of humour.
Chipinge District Schools Inspector, Richard Gabaza reiterated the quality of humility.
“He taught me the rules of the trade. I may have been much younger than him but during the time we interacted at the district office, he advised me on many issues. He was a peacemaker and even after he retired, he was still a fountain of wisdom for us. We have truly lost an advisor par excellence.’’
He left behind his wife, six children and several grandchildren.

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