Welshman Mabhena dies
The former Matabeleland North governor, who was dropped by Mugabe after he blamed him for lack of development in Matabeleland, died at his Fourwinds home in Bulawayo on Tuesday morning aged 88.
He also told the president to step down in 2000 and hand power to young blood.
The cause of death as well as burial arrangements could not be established at the time of writing.
The controversial Mabhena was at Independence elected Member of Parliament for Nkayi constituency under the PF-Zapu ticket.
At that time, he was the secretary general of the party and in 1987 after the united Zanu-PF was born, Mabhena became the new Matabeleland North provincial chairman.
In 1990, Mabhena, who was the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, was appointed Minister of State for Political Affairs.
He was later appointed Governor for Matabeleland North province, a post he held until he retired in July 2000, when now Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Obert Mpofu, took over.
Born at Zinyangeni Mission in Nkayi district, Mabhena did his formal schooling there and at Inyathi and Tiger Kloof in South Africa.
A shoemaker by profession, Mabhena was involved in politics and spent between 1962 and 1979 in jail or detention coming out with A Levels and the Fellowship of the Association of Certified Bookkeepers of South Africa.