Zimbabwe commentator, albino supporter John Makumbe dies

Professor John Makumbe, a prolific political writer, fought against ancient Zimbabwean tribal superstitions that victimized his fellow albinos.

HARARE, Zimbabwe  — Zimbabwe's prominent political analyst and professor John Makumbe, an albino who also campaigned against prejudice of the skin pigmentation condition, has died after a heart attack, colleagues say. He was 63.

The Movement for Democratic Change party said Monday that Makumbe, a prolific writer and commentator on Zimbabwe's turbulent political landscape, collapsed Sunday and died later at a medical facility near his Harare home.

The popular university lecturer announced plans in November to run for parliament this year, declaring that after "a lot of talking" about democracy he now wanted to "walk the talk."

Makumbe headed a rights and advice group that fought ancient tribal superstitions that victimized albinos and, in the past, even the killing of albino babies.

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