Doctor Kumbirai Mubwandarikwa, who treated prominent liberation fighters including Zimbabwe’s former President Robert Mugabe in colonial jails, has died aged 78.

His son, Joram, confirmed the death to NewsDay.

“(My father) passed away at his Borrowdale home on August 11. He succumbed to cancer,” he said.

Joram said his father, who was among the first blacks to graduate in medicine in the then Rhodesia, will be buried at his farm in Hampshire, Chivhu, on Wednesday.

Mubwandarikwa, In 1964, he was accepted by the University of Rhodesia and Nyasaland to study medicine and Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBchB) in 1969.

According to Joram, after graduating, he worked at Harare Central Hospital, then Kwekwe Hospital.

In racially segregated Rhodesia, whites often refused to be treated by black doctors, but upon seeing Mubwandarikwa conduct his work, many white Rhodesians became colour blind and sought treatment from him.

Mubwandarikwa also furthered his studies in the United Kingdom and then returned to Zimbabwe shortly after independence, where he worked for the government until he retired in 2006.

He continued working at his private practice until March 2019 when he stopped due to ill health.

Mubwandarikwa is survived by wife and four children.

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