MASVINGO – HIGHER and Tertiary Education minister Stan Mudenge has died. He was 71.The Zanu PF Member of Parliament for Masvingo North is said to have collapsed and died at the Great Zimbabwe Hotel Thursday afternoon.
At the time of going to print last night, his body was reportedly still in his hotel room while plans were being made to take it to Harare.
Mudenge was expected to officiate at a meeting of officials from regional universities at around 2:30pm when he reportedly collapsed while in his hotel room at around 12:00 noon.
An impeccable government official confirmed Mudenge’s death.
“It’s true that he passed on, but I can’t comment on that. I cannot comment on behalf of his family. You can check with his family.”
A Cabinet minister who was close to Mudenge also confirmed the death of the minister, but said he was not the right person to announce the tragedy.
Unconfirmed reports from Masvingo said Great Zimbabwe Vice Chancellor Rungano Zvobgo was in the process of introducing dignitaries at the event, including Mudenge who was expected to officiate when the minister’s aide walked into the room crying and told Zvobgo that his boss had collapsed.
Mudenge was born in 1941 in Zimuto, Masvingo.
His political career began in 1977 when he became Zanu PF secretary for External Affairs in Lesotho, a position he held until 1980.
He served as the Secretary for Education for Zanu PF in the Munyambe North District between 1990 and 1991. He became a member of the Central Committee in 1991. From 1991 to 1993 he held the post of Senior Permanent Secretary of Political Affairs. At the same time he was the Deputy Secretary for Commissariat and Culture, Masvingo Province.
He was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1995 before he was reassigned to become Higher and Tertiary Education in 2005 which portfolio he held up to the time of his death.
Mudenge has not been unwell for some time though his ailment has never been made public.
He wedded in May this year for the second time after his first and second wives died in 2001 and 2004 respectively.