John Mudiwa Washe Makumbe

John Mudiwa Washe Makumbe was (born on 6 May 1949) he was a renowned academic, researcher and politician he died on 27 January 2013.


Professor John Makumbe was born in Buhera District, Manicaland Province. He was married to Virginia, and the couple had three children, Simba, Tawanda and Rumbidzai. He died on 27 January 2013 at the Arcadia Medical Centre in Harare he was 65.

Educational Background

After completing his high school, Professor Makumbe enrolled at Mutare Teachers Training School (now Mutare Teachers' college), in Mutare in 1972 where he trained as a teacher. He later enrolled at the University of Botswana/Swaziland where he obtained a Bachelor Arts in Administration degree. Between 1979 and 1980, he was the Assistant Dean of Students at the same university. Upon his return to Zimbabwe, Makumbe joined the government as a training officer at Rowa Training Centre in Mutare until 1983. He furthered his studies and obtained Honours in Administration at the (UZ), Honours in LLD at the University of Birmingham in the UK and a Ph.D in Administration from University of Tasmania in Austrialia.[1]

Academic career

Professor Makumbe began lecturing at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) in 1988 when he joined the institute as the chairperson of International Studies Project. He played a big role in providing tertiary education this institution.During his academic career, Prof. Makumbe published a number of academic books, journal articles and reports. He was also a newspaper columnist for several local and international publications.[1]

Organisations He Founded

Professor Makumbe was a renowned academic, researcher and politician who was always bold, courageous, had an unflinching personality and had several brushes with the State security agents for questioning their human rights abuses and corruption. Makumbe was a founder board member of a number of respected professional and civic society organisations including, the Zimbabwe Albino Association, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, from 2001 and 2002, Transparency International Zimbabwe, 1995 to 2004, Mass Public Opinion, Zimbabwe Association for Crime Prevention and the Rehabilitation of the Offender, Trans World Radio Zimbabwe, Independent Media Trust and African Development Educators Network.[1]

Political career

Makumbe was a senior official in the Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC-T) and worked in various capacities in an advisory role. The political scientist had openly declared he had joined the MDC-T at the party’s 12th anniversary celebrations at Gwanzura Stadium in Highfield Harare in 2012. He participated in party structures in Ideological Lecture Series programmes that were held weekly in Harare and across the country. Professor Makumbe was very active in his district Buhera West in assisting the former member of parliament (MP) in the area, Advocate Matinenga in carrying out several developmental projects. This also included assisting other MPs in Buhera district and Manicaland province in developmental projects. In 2013 Professor Makumbe was set to contest in the parliamentary elections on an (MDC-T) ticket in Buhera West. This would have set a precedent as a first in the history of the country’s politics, of a clear succession plan where the outgoing Member of Parliament (MP), Advocate Eric Matinenga would assisted the professor in his campaigns in the July 2013 elections. That seat was won by former police spokesman Oliver Mandipaka for Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu PF).[2]


Makumbe was born an albino and overcame the stigma of albinism to become a fearless critic of Robert Mugabe and a key figure in Zimbabwe’s civil society.In 1996 he founded the Zimbabwe Albino Association (ZIMAS), which helped dispel the myths surrounding the condition in Zimbabwe.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Obituary for the late Professor John Makumbe, Nehanda Radio, Published: January 28, 2013, Retrieved; July 1, 2013
  2. Tichaona Sibanda, Shock and despair as ZANU PF headed for victory, SW Radio Africa, Published: August 1, 2013, Retrieved: July 1, 2014
  3. Professor John Makumbe, The Telegraph, Published: January 29, 2013, Retrieved: July 1, 2014