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Zimbabwe Liberation Hero Naomi Nhiwatiwa Dies

Former Zimbabwe liberation fighter Naomi Nhiwatiwa has died. Nhiwatiwa passed away in her home in the United States last Thursday. She was 70 years old.

Nhiwatiwa was one of the first female government ministers in the new government shortly after independence, alongside the likes of Victoria Chitepo and vice President Joyce Mujuru.

In the early 1980s, Nhiwatiwa quit government business to join the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund, followed by a long career with the United Nations World Health Organization Brazzaville, Congo. She also held the position of senior adviser to the United Nations in New York.

Nhiwatiwa was also a charity worker who co-founded Zerapath AIDS orphanage in Harare and worked as an HIV/AIDS consultant. A holder of a post doctorate and Masters degrees, Nhiwatiwa was a visiting professor for the department of communications at Pepperdine University in California after retiring from the United Nations in 2001.

She is survived by two children and two grandchildren.

A funeral service celebrating the life of the independence war hero is expected to be held on Sunday in the Seventh Day Adventist church in South Bend, Indiana, USA, followed by a burial at Southlawn cemetery also in Indiana.