SW Radio Africa (London)

4 August 2009

Zimbabwe: Vice President Joseph Msika Dies

Various news websites have reported that Joseph Msika, one of the country's Vice Presidents has died. At the time of broadcast there was no official statement as to when he died, or the cause of death.

The ZANU PF leader had rarely been seen in public in recent months. News reports say the veteran nationalist leader had been unwell for several months and had suffered a stroke in June, and underwent an operation in South Africa.

The veteran nationalist spent 11 years in detention from 1964, and was a member of the ZAPU delegation to the Lancaster House Conference that negotiated independence for Zimbabwe in 1980.

He joined ZANU PF after the ZANU/ZAPU unity accord in 1987. Msika became Vice President soon after the death of PF ZAPU leader Joshua Nkomo in 1999.

He co-shared the Vice President portfolio with ZANU PF's Joice Mujuru. Vice President Msika was 86 years old. He is survived by his wife Maria and three children.

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