The death of Zimbabwean Information Minister Tichaona Jokonya, a former envoy to the United Nations, has left a key portfolio vacant at a time when Harare seems most in need of seasoned diplomats and communicators. The 68-year-old cabinet member's death also leaves unfinished his initiative to overhaul of state broadcasting.
Jokonya was found dead in his room at the Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare Saturday morning, just a few hours before he was to meet with senior executives of Zimbabwe Groadcasting Holdings, or ZBH. Only last week Jokonya announced major changes at the state broadcaster, including the consolidation of nine operating units.
Reporter Chris Gande of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe filed a report on the gap left by Jokonya, who despite his recent denunciation of certain elements of the media, was considered a moderate and made himself accessible outside state media.