Minister Mudenge dies

HARARE - Stanislaus Tanislaus Gorerazvo Mudenge, Zimbabwe’s minister of Higher Education, collapsed and died yesterday after making a presentation at the Great Zimbabwe Hotel in Masvingo. He was 71.

Mudenge, best known as the suave and verbose civil servant mandarin, had been unwell for sometime.

He was said to have collapsed and rushed to a hotel room where he reportedly died while his aides were  frantically looking for a doctor.

Mudenge’s aides are said to have rushed to  a nearby clinic but reportedly failed to get a doctor.

They found his body lying lifeless.

He has been battling ill-health since 2010 when he suffered a cardiac arrest and spent weeks in hospital.

Mudenge was thought to have been winning his fight against ill-health but collapsed at the Masvingo resort yesterday.

Thrice married, Mudenge’s first wife Kgogo died in 2001 and his second wife, Eunice, passed on  in 2004.

He tied the knot in May to Mildred Kada at Gokomere Mission at a union witnessed by his top ally Senator Josiah Hungwe, who was unreachable for comment last night.

A member of the Zanu PF’s inner Cabinet the politburo, he held the portfolio of Foreign Affairs minister from 1995 to 2005.

He was also a strong member of a Zanu PF faction led by Defence minister Emerson Mnangagwa, and he was demoted in 2005 after the Tsholotsho palace coup plot that sought to block the elevation of Joice Mujuru to vice presidency. His death robs the faction of a useful backroom strategist.

Mudenge has published several books on pre-colonial Zimbabwean history.

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