Zimbabwe opposition co-founder and veteran labor activist Gibson Sibanda dies at 66

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Gibson Sibanda, a veteran labor activist and co-founder of Zimbabwe's former opposition party, has died after a long battle with cancer at the age of 66, his party says.

In 2005, Sibanda left Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change over sharp policy differences. He had been deputy leader in Tsvangirai's party until he joined a breakaway faction and became a senator in the Harare parliament and a minister of state for the splinter group after disputed elections in 2008.

As a labor leader in the colonial era before independence in 1980, Sibanda was arrested several times for his political activism.

A widower, Sibanda is survived by six children. Funeral arrangements are still to be announced, Sibanda's party spokesman Edwin Mushoriwa said Tuesday.