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.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.