- By McDonald Lewanika (CiZC Director)


I used to say that 'There was no doubt, that Dr. Phillan Zamchiya is one of the best Political minds and intellectuals under 40 years, to have emerged from Zimbabwe at the moment.' Having worked closely with him for close to a year, I have removed the qualifier and can now categorically state that Dr. Zamchiya is one of the best political minds and intellectuals that Zimbabwe should be proud to have produced, full stop.


It is because of the above that The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition is honored to have borrowed him from the world, to lend his brilliance to the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition over the last 8 months. Dr. Zamchiya will be saying good-bye to the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition after 10 months of invaluable service in May 2013. During his tenure at the Coalition, Dr. Zamchiya helped to steady a shaky ship, while innovating and leading the Coalitions Regional Advocacy project to higher levels of Advocacy based on empiricism grounded on research.   Part of his legacy, is the introduction of the Coalitions Transitional Barometer, a bi-monthly publication that traces the Transition, and indicates pitfalls and opportunities while identifying what needs to be done to bring the transition back on track towards democratization.


Besides the technical work, Dr. Zamchiya will mostly be missed for more than his sharp and incisive analysis of the Zimbabwean situation, but also for his sound leadership. A leadership so proficient that containing it at Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition or limiting it to Zimbabwe, would just be selfish on our part.   Dr. Zamchiya, may be small in stature but his talents are remarkable and well worthy of sharing with the world.


Which is why it seems befitting to say good bye to him, as he joins arguably the one of the best universities in the world - Oxford University in the United Kingdom. The task that awaits him at Oxford is that of teaching Mphil students, where he will be charged with the intellectual development of some of the best and the brightest that the world has to offer. The decision to have him on the Oxford University Faculty is hardly surprising given that Dr. Zamchiya achieved the awe-inspiring feat of finishing his PhD and being conferred with his confirmation of status in a hard to break record time of 2 years 7 months.


Dr. Zamchiya will be missed, as an amazing comrade, exceptional intellectual and a national asset. The Coalition, derives comfort from the fact that no one really leaves it, people go to serve the national cause in other capacities. So instead of being sad, we celebrate this young leader, and wish him well in his endeavors. The coalition will forever be in his debt, and the nation should find ways of utilizing such an amazing intellect that has proved from the unpaved bushy roads of Chipinge, that indeed, ordinary people can do extraordinary things.


Go well brother, comrade, friend €¦.and know that you are not only valued here, but also that "hauna kusiya wapisa musha. € (You are always welcome home because you haven't burnt it down as you leave).

Dr. Zamchiya leaves a gapping hole that will be hard to fill.

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