INDEPENDENT Zimbabwe’s first Agriculture minister Dennis Norman (pictured) died in Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom last month, reports from England have said.

Norman, also famed for being part of the initiation of the Beira Corridor and subsequent establishment of the Feruka oil pipeline, passed on on Friday December 20 after a long battle with cancer of the oesophagus.

Norman was appointed by then Prime Minister Robert Mugabe reportedly at the recommendation of then governor Lord Soames (now late).

At the time, it was seen as a strong and meaningful appointment that underscored Mugabe’s determination to cement racial and political reconciliation in a war-torn country.

Norman was later appointed as Transport minister, a post that saw him spearhead the establishment of the Beira Corridor and the oil pipeline still in use today.

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After serving Zimbabwe in various portfolios, Norman and his wife, June, later returned to England.

“One of the great men of the post-Independence era is no longer with us. It is hard to believe we will ever see the likes of him again in Zimbabwe,” Trevor Grundy who reported his death in England said. — (Additional reporting by Rex Mphisa)