Zimbabwe president's friend then foe, Tekere, dies

AP News
Posted: Jun 08, 2011 9:16 AM
Zimbabwe president's friend then foe, Tekere, dies

Edgar Tekere, a staunch friend and ally of Zimbabwe's president who then became one of the leader's harshest critics, has died at the age of 74.

A statement Wednesday from representatives of his family says Tekere died Tuesday from cancer.

He spent ten years as a political prisoner alongside President Robert Mugabe in the same colonial-era jail and after their release the two men fled on foot together to lead burgeoning guerrilla forces to end white rule.

Tekere was a founding member of Mugabe's party in 1964. He then enraged Mugabe by speaking out against corruption and misrule a decade after independence in 1980. He formed an opposition party and lost to Mugabe in presidential polls.

Tekere also brought reggae legend Bob Marley to perform at ceremonies marking the birth of Zimbabwe.