Mwanzilishi mwenza wa iliyokuwa chama cha upinzani cha Zimbabwe, the Movement for Democratic Change, amefariki dunia akiwa ana umri wa miaka 66.
Gibson Sibanda alikuwa kiongozi maarufu wa chama cha wafanyakazi kabla ya uhuru wa Zimbabwe mwaka 1980 na alikamatwa mara kwa mara kutokana na harakati zake.
Alisaidia kuunda chama cha MDC mwaka 2000 lakini alijiengua miaka mitano baadae baada ya kuibuka tofauti baina yake na Morgan Tsvangirai.
Bw Sibanda alijiunga na sehemu ya chama cha MDC iliyokuwa imejitenga na wakati kifo chake kilipotokea alikuwa waziri wa serikali ya muungano.
Msemaji wa chama chake alisema Bw Sibanda alikuwa akiugua saratani kwa muda sasa na alikufa huko Bulawayo.
Bw Sibanda na Bw Tsvangirai wote walikuwa viongozi wa chama cha wafanyakazi walipoamua kuunda MDC kupambana kwa kile walichosema sera mbovu za kiuchumi za Rais Robert Mugabe.
Bw Tsvangirai ni waziri mkuu wa serikali ya kugawana madaraka ya sasa iliyoundwa miezi 18 iliyopita.
Serikali hiyo inajaribu kuimarisha uchumi uliotikiswa na mfumko mkubwa wa bei na upungufu wa chakula pamoja na mafuta.
New leader' for Zimbabwe's MDC
The man who has declared himself the new leader of Zimbabwe's divided main opposition party says he is confident that the party will bounce back.
Gibson Sibanda admits last year's split in the Movement for Democratic Change weakened the party.
But he told the BBC that all MDC supporters will back him after they know the facts. He says he has the support of 25 of the party's 41 MPs.
Correspondents say President Robert Mugabe has benefited from the split.
Founding MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai - who insists that he remains party leader - says the split was the work of government agents.
Mr Sibanda accused Mr Tsvangirai of repeatedly going against party decisions.
The National Council voted to take part in last year's senate elections despite Mr Tsvangirai's arguments that it would be a waste of time because the polls would be rigged.
Tsvangirai says the split was engineered by government agents
He then went ahead and announced a boycott , which was ignored by some MDC members, especially in the western Matabeleland region, home to Mr Sibanda.
Mr Sibanda was Mr Tsvangirai's deputy at the MDC for five years and also for several years before that at the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, which set up an opposition party to counter what is said was Mr Mugabe's disastrous economic policies.
But Mr Sibanda told the BBC's Network Africa that for him, Mr Tsvangirai was "just a Zimbabwean like any other person to me - nothing special."
Mr Sibanda has been briefing Harare-based diplomats about the changes.
The MDC is set to hold a congress in February, which should hold leadership elections.