Doctor Kumbirai Mubwandarikwa, who treated prominent liberation fighters including former President Robert Mugabe in colonial jails, has died. He was 78.
His son, Joram, confirmed the death to NewsDay yesterday.
“(My father) passed away at his Borrowdale home on August 11. He succumbed to cancer,” he said.
Joram said his father, who was among the first blacks to graduate in medicine in the then Rhodesia, will be buried at his farm in Hampshire, Chivhu, on Wednesday.
Mubwandarikwa, who was born in Zvavahera village in Gutu, attended Zvavahera Primary School from 1950 to 1957, Zimuto Secondary School from 1958 to 1959,
Inyathi Secondary School from 1960 to 1962 and Goromonzi Secondary School from 1962 to 1963.
In 1964, he was accepted by the University of Rhodesia and Nyasaland to study medicine and Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBchB) in 1969.
According to Joram, after graduating, his worked at Harare Central Hospital, then Kwekwe Hospital.
In racially segregated Rhodesia, whites often refused to be treated by black doctors, but upon seeing Mubwandarikwa conduct his work, many white Rhodesians became colour blind and sought treatment from him.
Mubwandarikwa also furthered his studies in the United Kingdom and then returned to Zimbabwe shortly after independence, where he worked for the government.
He continued working at his private practice until March 2019 when he stopped due to ill health.
Mubwandarikwa is survived by his wife Ndakarwira Magodora, four children — Stella, Tariro, Joram, and Steven — and seven grandchildren.