Archbishop Patrick Chakaipa, head of the nation's Roman Catholic Church died of cancer Tuesday at Saint Anne’s Hospital in Harare at the age of 70.
Archbishop Chakaipa held the position for more than 25 years. He was the first black in the post.
In the late 70’s, Archbishop Chakaipa headed a delegation of Catholic clergy to Zambia to meet with exiled nationalists to bring peace to Zimbabwe, which was then known as Rhodesia. He also spoke strongly against apartheid in South Africa.
The Archbishop of Bulawayo Pius Ncube said he knew Archbishop Chakaipa just a short time, but looked up to him as a big brother.
Archbishop Chakaipa will be buried on Monday at the Chishawasha Mission. His body will lie in state in the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Harare from Sunday.