Thursday, August 6, 2009

Joseph Msika ...06/12/1923-03/04/08/2009

JOHANNESBURG – Zimbabwe’s first Vice President Joseph Msika has died, his ZANU PF party has confirmed Msika, 86, died Tuesday at Harare’s West End clinic.ZANU PF chairman John Nkomo confirmed the death of Msika on Tuesday that had been subject of strong rumour in Zimbabwe but with no official word of confirmation or denial.“It is a great loss to the nation and to the Msika family,” said Nkomo who is also a senior minister in Zimbabwe’s unity government responsible for national reconciliation and healing.Nkomo, among likely candidates to succeed Msika, said of the nationalist veteran: “I served under him in different posts during the liberation struggle. He leaves us at a time Zimbabwe is free. I have learnt a lot from him. He is an icon (of the freedom struggle).”The former Vice President had been in and out of hospital since he suffered a stroke in 2005 at his home and was rarely seen in public this year.One of the founding fathers of Zimbabwe’s liberation movement from white minority rule, Msika deputised the late Joshua Nkomo in the Zimbabwe People’s Union (ZAPU) party before they joined President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF party after the 1987 Unity Accord.He became one of ZANU PF and Zimbabwe’s two Vice Presidents following the death of Nkomo in 1999. Joice Mujuru, who was junior to Msika, is ZANU PF and Zimbabwe’s other Vice President.Like many of his liberation struggle colleagues, Msika spent years in jail for opposing the white supremacist governments of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe’s name before independence).He was part of the ZAPU delegation to the 1979 Lancaster House talks that paved the way for Zimbabwe’s 1980 independence from Britain.Never too diplomatic especially on issues he felt strongly about, Msika ruffled some feathers on both sides of Zimbabwe’s political divide during his decade-long tenure in the country’s second highest office.For example, Msika three years ago publicly accused Mugabe and ZANU PF of attempting to falsify history by portraying themselves as the pioneers of Zimbabwe’s struggle for independence that he said was started by himself and a few others in the city of Bulawayo.In 2000, he courted the ire of the opposition when he labelled their supporters useless dogs. Msika is survived by his wife Maria and three children – Tambudzai, Shelton and TagumaZimbabwean Prime Minster Morgan Tsvangirai, left, talks to deputy president Joseph Msika celebrations to mark 29 years of independence in Harare, Zimbabwe Saturday, April, 18, 2009. Zimbabweans are celebrating independence from Britain in an unusually nonpartisan atmosphere, with President Robert Mugabe denouncing violence and calling for an end to sanctions.
File - This Oct. 13, 2008 file photo shows Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, left, with newly sworn-in vice presidents Joyce Mujuru, right, and Joseph Msika, center, at state house in Harare, Zimbabwe. Zimbabwean state radio has announced Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2009 that Msika died after a long battle with ill health. He was 86.

Msika ‘steals’ dead man’s plot.

Published: March 5, 2009

Bulawayo(ZimEye)-Vice-President and ZANU PF number two- Joseph Msika- is embroiled in a tussle over a plot in Bulawayo with a former high ranking Zapu official who died last week, the ZimEye can reveal.

Msika (85) has grabbed the plot from the children of Edward Ben Muhambi, who died last week and was declared a liberation hero status....



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