Africa scholar passes away suddenly.
WASHINGTON--The U.S. Institute of Peace mourns the passing of Dr. Masipula Sithole, of Harare, Zimbabwe, a senior fellow at the Institute during 2002-2003. Sithole, who was 56, died on April 3 in Fairfax, Virginia, after suffering a massive stroke. His life was one of deep commitment to the people of Zimbabwe.
Masipula Sithole was one of Africa's most respected scholars. He was a professor of political science at the University of Zimbabwe and founding director of the Mass Public Opinion Institute in Harare. The author of numerous books and scholarly articles on politics in Zimbabwe, Sithole also wrote frequent analyses and commentaries for independent newspapers there.
Prior to joining the University of Zimbabwe's faculty in 1980, Sithole taught for four years at the University of Dayton, Ohio. He held a research fellowship at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in 1985-86 and was a Fulbright Fellow in 1983. The recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation African Development Fellowship, Sithole received his Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati.
While in residence at the Institute, Sithole was writing a book on the impact of Zimbabwe's domestic and foreign policies on regional security since 1980. A longtime critic of the regime of president Robert Mugabe, Sithole said in a talk at the U.S. Institute of Peace in January that the government must be changed because it was destroying the life and liberty of the people of Zimbabwe.
Sithole is survived by his wife, Alice, and two sons, Chandiwana and Masipula, Jr. Sithole was the younger brother of the late Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole, founder of the opposition Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) party.
Sithole's many friends at the U.S. Institute of Peace extend their condolences to the Sithole family. The Institute was honored to provide this brave man several months in which to work in an environment so different from his homeland, the former "jewel of Africa," now suffering massive devastation.