Edgar Zivanai Tekere, a controversial and outspoken political leader of Zimbabwe, died on Tuesday in Mutare after a long battle against prostate cancer. He is survived by his wife, Pamela and daughter Maidei. He was 74.
Tekere began his political career in 1963 as a founding member of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) and served a ten year prison sentence after the organization was banned in 1964. After his release, Tekere remained a prominent figure in the fight for independence and took part in the Lancaster House conversations helping solidify national independence in 1979. He held the position of Minister of Manpower for one year in 1980, but was demoted when he was accused of murdering a white farmer. Later in his career he represented the Zimbabwe Unity Movement party in an unsuccessful bid for the Presidency in 1990.
Often a harsh critic of governmental corruption Tekere often spoke out against the administration of current President Robert Mugabe. In a memoir published in 2007 Tekere blamed President Mugabe for building a nation whose people “live mostly in fear of their own government, of a state machinery, born out of the forces of liberation, but now, regrettably, more associated with ruthlessness and naked force.”
Edgar Tekere Obiturary