HARARE, Zimbabwe — The first black prime minister of an interim white-dominated government before Zimbabwe’s independence, Bishop Abel Muzorewa, died at his Harare home Thursday, his family said. He was 85.

Muzorewa, a Methodist bishop, joined the government of the short-lived Zimbabwe-Rhodesia in a deal with Ian Smith, the last white prime minister, in 1978, two years ahead of the first all-race elections that swept President Robert Mugabe to power, ended a seven-year guerrilla war and dropped the name of Rhodesia.

Seen by some as a moderate black leader and by others as a puppet of white politicians, he served as a lawmaker for four years in the first Zimbabwe parliament.

 


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