By Tatenda Dewa | Harare Bureau |
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, a former diplomat and critic of President Robert Mugabe’s government, has passed on.
A family member said Mashiri, who was 61 at the time of his death and is survived by two daughters and a son, suddenly passed away two weeks ago in London.
He had been undergoing unspecified chemotherapy for some time after an abdominal operation in December last year.
The family member said Mashiri would be buried on 2 August in the UK and mourners are gathered at 82 Cross Street, Erith Kent DA81RB in London.
Mashiri is a former employee of the Information ministry and was also posted outside the country under the Foreign Affairs portfolio.
As a doctoral researcher at London South Bank University, Mashiri contributed in-depth articles on Zimbabwean politics and the economy.
In July last year, Mashiri suggested that, in order to wiggle out of the current political-economic crisis, Zimbabwe “must eat humble pie” and accept a United Nations (UN) run transitional authority.
“A starting point could be a request by Zimbabwe to the UN Secretary General for the appointment of a Special Representative to initiate comprehensive negotiations with all the parties as a matter of utmost urgency ahead of the 2018 elections.
“Headed by a Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, the UN Transitional Authority in Zimbabwe (UNTAZ) could work along the experience of UNTAC in Cambodia by assuming control of key sectors of Zimbabwe’s administrative structures – foreign affairs, defence, security, finance and communications in order to ensure a level playing field conducive to credible national elections,’ wrote Mashiri who was a regular Nehanda Radio columnist.
“Arguably, governance would change in Zimbabwe by virtue of a UN Security Council resolution giving mandate to the UN Transitional Authority in Zimbabwe (UNTAZ) which will only withdraw after free and fair elections have been conducted,” added Mashiri.
He was also critical of Britain’s business engagements with Harare, describing them as unethical considering the Mugabe establishment’s poor human rights and governance record. Nehanda Radio