HARARE (AFP) - Zimbabwean vice-president John Nkomo has died after a long battle with cancer, President Robert Mugabe said on Thursday. Nkomo, 78, was said to have died at Saint Anne’s hospital in Harare. “We have lost our vice-president John Landa Nkomo, he was suffering for a long time with cancer,” said Mugabe

“We have lost a real revolutionary, a fighter of freedom, a friend of the people, he will be dearly missed by all of us.” Nkomo was appointed to one of the country’s two vice-presidencies under Mugabe in late 2009. Responsible for overseeing financial, economic and environmental policy he was seen as loyal to Mugabe. He “can be counted on to do Mugabe’s bidding,” a leaked US diplomatic cable dating from 2009 said.