jimmy duri 3.jpgPopular chemist, Dr. Zvitendo James Duri, has died.


Dr. Duri died at the West End Hospital on Thursday morning after a short illness.


He was born on 27 March 1955 in Rukweza village, Nyazura.


He started his primary school education at Rukweza Primary School in 1963 and completed this at Hartzell Primary School in Mutare. From 1970 to 1973 he was a pupil at Hartzell and Waddilove Secondary Schools for his Ordinary Levels. He then left the country for the UK where he completed his Advanced Level at South Thames College in London.


James proceeded to read for a BSc degree in Chemistry at the University of Sussex, which he passed with a first class, subsequent to which he enrolled at the same university where he conducted research work in partial synthesis and stereochemistry of reactions of Gibberelin plant growth hormones for which he was awarded a PhD in 1983.


Upon his return from the UK in 1983, James joined the Chemistry Department of the University of Zimbabwe where he has been a lecturer up to the time of his death. Over this period, James was involved in research and was able to publish several scientific papers.


At the University of Zimbabwe, he ran a natural product research laboratory focusing on immune-modulants derived from plant drugs. His research work also involved phytochemical and pharmacological evaluation of Zimbabwean plant drugs for various ailments.


In 1992 he registered as a licensed herbalist and started running a herbal clinic along Tongogara Avenue. It was from this clinic that James was able to attend to as many as 120 patients per month, who came from within the SADC region, and about 80 percent of whom were HIV/AIDS patients.


The results of his research were very encouraging and his untimely death has robbed us of the invaluable contribution his work was certainly going to make to the national, if not regional health system.


James is survived by his wife Barbara and only daughter Zui. Funeral arrangements will be as follows:
• There will be a church service for the late Dr. Duri at the University of Zimbabwe Chapel at 12.00pm today, Friday, 16 July 2010.
• From the chapel mourners will proceed to Rukweza village where Dr. Duri will be buried on Saturday, 17 July 2010 in the afternoon.