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Originally published Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 3:22 AM

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Zimbabwe tribal healers' leader Chavunduka dies

Zimbabwe's organization of tribal healers says its leader, the eminent academic, author, sociologist and politician Professor Gordon Chavunduka, has died at age 82.

The Associated Press

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HARARE, Zimbabwe —

Zimbabwe's organization of tribal healers says its leader, the eminent academic, author, sociologist and politician Professor Gordon Chavunduka, has died at age 82.

The Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association said Saturday the group's president died in Harare on Friday after a long battle with cancer.

Chavunduka, a former head of the main Zimbabwe University, was widely known for his research and writing that did much to bridge the gap between Western medical practices and Africa's traditional, tribal and herbalist healers, sometimes referred to in the West as witchdoctors.

As a politician, Chavunduka took part in negotiations that led to Zimbabwe's independence from Britain in 1980. At the time of his death, he chaired the council of elders in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change party.

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