The body of the late Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) Vice Chancellor, Professor Primrose Kurasha will lie in state at her house in Avondale, Harare tonight ahead of her burial this Monday at Glen Forest cemetery in Harare.

Professor Kurasha’s body was fetched from the funeral parlour and mourners proceeded to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe where a funeral service was conducted.

People from all walks of life including cabinet ministers, among them Dr Chris Mushohwe, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Cde Josiah Hungwe, deputy speaker of parliament Cde Mabel Chinomona and Masvingo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Cde Shuvai Mahofa were among the mourners.

From the church, the funeral cortege left for the Kurasha home in Avondale where the body is going to lie in state.

Professor Kurasha became a lecturer in 1987 and was appointed to head ZOU in 2003, making history by becoming the first female university vice-chancellor in Zimbabwe.

She was also the Chairperson of Distance Education Association of Southern Africa, executive board member of the African Council for Distance Education, and sat on the SADC-ODL steering committee.

Meanwhile, the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda has on behalf of the entire civil service conveyed a message of condolence to the Kurasha family.

Dr Sibanda said the sad departure of Professor Kurasha has robbed the nation of a vivacious and supremely talented leader, who distinguished herself earlier on during her student days at the University of Zimbabwe, as a daring go-getter, always ready to take on daunting responsibilities, when duly beckoned.

“Her strong sense of mission always pushed her to new and unfamiliar frontiers of achievement, which climaxed in her becoming Zimbabwe’s first woman university vice chancellor. Under her boundlessly energetic stewardship, ZOU grew and continues to give education to many disadvantaged citizens, who would otherwise, have no access to education in other universities,” he said.

Professor Kurasha died on Friday after a short illness.