Sources say, the Vice President had been often admitted to health institutions in recent months. President Robert Mugabe is reported to have insisted he remained in office, although he was clearly not fit to work. He shared the vice presidency with Joice Mujuru, currently rumoured as a Zanu(PF) presidential aspirant.
Mugabes age questioned
Analysts believe that Joseph Msika, who was only three months older than Robert Mugabe, was prevented from stepping down as Vice President as it would have questioned the Presidents age and capacity to run the country effectively. His death could also spark infighting with senior Zanu(PF) members in bid to take over his post.
Msika did not run in the March 2005 parliamentary elections, but Mugabe appointed him to one of the thirty unelected seats in Parliament. He also did not stand for election in the March 2008 parliamentary election. Mugabe, however, appointed him to the Senate in August 2008 and then swore him in as Vice President on 13 October 2008, together with Mrs. Mujuru.
A veteran politician Msika was arrested in 1964 and held in detention until 1975. Msika was a member of the ZAPU delegation to the Lancaster House Conference that negotiated independence for Zimbabwe in 1980.
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