By Pamela Shumba
Veteran educationist, politician and former deputy secretary for education and culture Mr Zephaniah Ruzwidzo Matchaba-Hove (86) has died.
His eldest son Dr Reginald Matchaba- Hove said his father died at Claybank Hospital in Gweru on New Year’s Day after a long battle with cancer of the liver.
He described him as a unifier and hardworking man who will be missed by the entire family.
“Our father was a unifier, a hard worker and a man of the people. He was a pillar of strength for the Matchaba-Hove family and the entire extended family. We have definitely lost a guiding star and we’ll miss him dearly,” said Dr Matchaba-Hove.
A former Mwenezi MP between 1990 and 2000, Mr Matchaba-Hove was the first graduate from Mwenezi District.
He did his primary education at Gomututu and Mnene primary schools in Mberengwa and his secondary education at Goromonzi High School.
He then studied for a BA degree with the University of South Africa while studying at the Roma Campus in Lesotho from 1957 to 1959.
The late educationist did his Postgraduate Certificate in Education with the University of London while based at the University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in 1960.
Mr Matchaba-Hove taught at many schools including Chegato High in Mberengwa, Chivi Secondary in Chivi, Mucheke Secondary in Masvingo, Ascot Secondary and Fletcher High in Gweru as well as Mabvuku High in Harare.
At one time he was the deputy headmaster of Mucheke Secondary School in Masvingo and the headmaster at Mabvuku High School in Harare.
Among the prominent people he taught are Professor Ngwabi Bhebhe, the founding Vice Chancellor of the Midlands State University; Professor Phineas Makhurane, the founding Vice Chancellor of the National University of Science and Technology and the late national hero Dr Witness Mangwende.
Mr Matchaba-Hove also served as Secretary of the Rhodesia African Teachers’ Association (RATA) during the time the late former Midlands Governor and Zanu-PF Politburo member Cde Cephas George Msipa served as RATA president before the country’s independence.
After independence he was promoted to become the Chief Education Officer for curriculum development; Harare Province regional director for education and then Deputy Secretary for education and culture.
Mr Matchaba-Hove is survived by six children and several grandchildren.
Dr Matchaba-Hove said there will be a church service this morning at the Lutheran Church in Gweru and the body will be taken to his homestead at Matibi Mission in Mwenezi for burial tomorrow.
Mourners are gathered at number 123 Walkers Road, Ridgemont in Gweru. The Chronicle