Zimbabwean Vice President John Nkomo, a senior member of President Robert Mugabe’s party, died at the age of 78.
Nkomo succumbed to cancer at St Anne’s hospital in the capital Harare, the state-controlled Herald newspaper reported.
“We have lost a revolutionary, a fighter of freedom, a friend of the people,” Mugabe, 88, told reporters at his residence in Harare. “He will be dearly missed by all of us.
Nkomo served as one of two deputy presidents since 2009, spending three years before that as speaker of parliament. He was imprisoned from 1966 to 1968 for opposing the then-Rhodesian government under Ian Smith.
Between 1980 and 1987, Nkomo held senior positions in Joshua Nkomo’s Zimbabwe African People’s Union, until ZAPU and Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union party combined to form ZANU-PF.