Zimbabwe's long ruling ZANU-PF party led by President Robert Mugabe has dismissed persistent reports making the rounds of the capital that vice president Joseph Msika has died at the age of 85.
Youth minister Saviour Kasukuwere told VOA that the vice president is “in a bad state but he is not dead.”
But high-level sources including in the office of
president Robert Mugabe told VOA that Msika has died. Even Msika's close allies in the struggle for independence confirmed that the VP is no more.
Government sources said Msika, who had served as vice president since December 1999, had been seriously ill for months.
The Financial Gazette reported in June that Vice President had been admitted to St Anne's Hospital in Harare twice within the a fortnight to correct complications arising from the operation he had in South Africa.
He suffered a stroke in June and underwent an operation in south africa and had been in and out of the hospital.
Msika is reported to have asked to step down but president robert mugabe asked him to stay on.
ZANU-PF deputy spokesman Ephraim Masawi told VOA reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that Harare is known for rumour mongering and talk of Msika’s death is not true though he has not been well.