HARARE (AFP): Chenjerai Hove, a leading Zimbabwean writer and outspoken critic of President Robert Mugabe, has died in Norway where he was living in exile, a friend and fellow writer said Monday. Poet Chirikure Chirikure said Hove, 59, succumbed to liver failure. “Chenjerai passed away yesterday afternoon. Very sad indeed,” Chirikure told AFP. The author of four novels, several collections of poetry and essays, Hove was equally at home writing in English and the local ChiShona language. He was best known for his novel “Bones”, which won the 1989 Noma Award for Publishing in Africa.

The novel focused on the disenchantment of ordinary Zimbabwean citizens who saw little improvement in their lives after independence and the introduction of majority rule in 1980. In 2001 Hove won the German-Afrika Prize for his literary contribution to the freedom of expression. His works have been translated into several languages including French, German, Japanese, Norwegian, Dutch and Danish.