UK based Zimbabwean academic Dr Alex Magaisa dies

A UK based Zimbabwean academic and law lecturer Dr Alex Magaisa has died.

Magaisa suffered a cardiac arrest Sunday morning at Margate Hospital according to reports

A lecturer of law at the Kent Law School, University of Kent, Magaisa served as the Advisor of then Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Morgan Tsvangirai from 2012-2013.

In 2013, Magaisa announced on Facebook he had been diagnosed with a heart problem and in

September 2018 he tweeted about his condition, saying he had been living with a “chronic illness” for five years.

In his tweet Magaisa said: “When I wrote my earlier message, I realised a lot who follow me did not understand. For many, I am a strong & healthy chap. I’m not. I try hard but it’s not easy. 2013., when the situation was serious I spoke to Mdhara Morgan & got help. I’m a member of the suffering union.

He added: "When I wish SB Moyo well, it has nothing to do with politics but everything to do with humanity. For the past 5 years I have lived with a chronic illness, believing in the right thing. Yet for many, Magaisa is a great man. I’m not. It’s not in my hands. I fight like all else

" What makes us different from all other is that we do the right thing. I grew up with simple villagers. Good people. We looked after each other. That is how it should be. I may get along, like all is beautiful. It is not. Let us look out for each other, whatever out differences,”

Meanwhile, tributes poured in with Academic Ibbo Mandaza tweeting: “Just received the sad news that Alex Magaisa is no more; a great loss to Zimbabwe’s intellectual community, to the struggle for a better and democratic Zimbabwe.”

Former Education Minister and CCC Treasurer General David Coltart tweeted: “I am gutted by the news that Alex #Magaisa @Wamagaisa has died suddenly. He was an intellectual giant, a superb patriot & a great democrat. Alex’s sober analysis explained the truth of #Zimbabwe in a way few have been able to do. Alex was also a good friend & colleague. RIP Alex.”

Magaisa was born in Chikomba District, Zimbabwe (then known as Charter District, Rhodesia). He attended St. Francis of Assisi High School. He then attended the University of Zimbabwe, graduating in 1997 with a Bachelor of Laws degree.

After graduating from the University of Zimbabwe, Magaisa joined prestigious law firm, Gill Godlonton & Gerrans Legal Practitioners as an Associate. In 1999, he went on to pursue a PhD in Law at the University of Warwick.

In September 2007, he joined the University of Kent Law School as a lecturer and researcher.

In November 2011, Magaisa took a leave of absence from the University of Kent to take up a role as a core member of a team of technical experts advising the Constitution Parliamentary Committee (COPAC) which was set up by the Parliament of Zimbabwe with the mandate of drafting a new constitution to replace the Lancaster House Agreement Constitution. The draft was later approved by almost 95%. In October 2012, Magaisa was appointed by Prime Minister Tsvangirai as his Chief Advisor.