Another Mugabe Loyalist Dies
Richard Hove, the ZANU PF Secretary for Economic Affairs (above) has died and will almost certainly be declared a national hero. Pictures of him are hard to come by and this grainy image is the best I could do for now.
Harare, Zimbabwe, 20 August 2009
Richard Hove, the ZANU PF Secretary for Economic Affairs, has died. He had been suffering from diabetes for years.
He died at St Annes Hospital in Harare on Friday.
Hove was born on 23 September 1939 and was a Senator in the Zimbabwe legislature.
Mugabe had a soft spot for Hove, as he does for almost all the people who have loyally stood by him through the years and whom he sees as not being a threat to his position.
The Zimbabwe dictator made Hove Minister of Public Service in 1980, Home Affairs in 1981 (after firing Dr Joshua Nkomo), Trade and Commerce thereafter (until 1985), Minister of Mines from 1985 to 1990, Minister of Defence from 1990 to 1992.
Hove was by this time not feeling well and was in and out of hospital.
He indicated to Mugabe that he intended to retire, but the President, who routinely views any member of his cabinet of his cabinet who resigns or retires as a "traitor", instead offered to make him Planning Commissioner in the President's Office, a largely meaningless job title designed specifically to keep Hove in employment.
Indications at the moment are that Hove will be declared a National Hero and buried at Heroes Acre, where Vice-president Msika was buried barely two weeks ago.
His long service in ZANU PF, stretching back to the days of exile in Zambia and Mozambique virtually guarantees him this honour.
Hove's death also means that there is virtually no one in charge of ZANU PF finances now (officially at least), since he was Secretary for Economic Affairs.
Dr Simba Makoni, until he left the party to challenge Mugabe for the presidency in March last year, was his deputy.