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Former Zimbabwe Government Spokesman William Nhara Dead At 46

William Nhara, a senior official of Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party who expounded the positions of the government of President Robert Mugabe to international media in unapologetic terms, died Monday in Harare, a senior party official said.

Nhara, 46, moved recently from the Ministry of Public and Interactive Affairs where he was a principal director, to the Ministry Without Portfolio. He was also spokesman for the Harare Province branch of the Zimbabwe African National Party-Patriotic Front.

Ruling party spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira, confirming Nhara’s death, said his death was a great loss to the party.

At the time of his death, Nhara was facing charges of illegally possessing 10,700 carats of diamonds and attempting to bribe a police official at Harare International Airport. Letters that his attorney submitted in pre-trial proceedings in Harare magistrate’s court said Nhara was seriously ill with kidney disease.

Associates and journalists recalled Nhara as a politician with a sharp wit.

One former colleague, Director Olivia Mwamloe of the Ministry of Public and Interactive Affairs, told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that Nhara had been her mentor and was a pleasure to work with.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...