By Nelson Chamisa
From humble beginnings, a giant was born. President Morgan Tsvangirai was a champion of the workers’ struggle, a doyen of democracy, a diplomat and a statesman—all rolled into one. Zimbabwe, Africa and indeed the world will always remember 14 February 2018 as a black Wednesday.
Our iconic leader and gallant son of Zimbabwe, President Morgan Richard Tsvangirai passed on at a South African infirmary yesterday (Wednesday) around 5pm.
The party is at a loss for words. As a leadership, we are all still struggling to come terms with the death of this great patriot who nurtured some of us and became a pathfinder in the country’s struggle for democracy.
It may have been befitting that he die on Valentine’s Day to signify the boundless love that he had for his country and its people.
His death is not only a loss to the Tsvangirai family.
It is a loss to the party and to Zimbabwe.
A loss for Africa whose death equally leaves a yawning gap that will always be difficult to fill by any Zimbabwean.
He began his journey in the trade union movement and became a pathfinder in the democratic struggle when, as secretary-general of the ZCTU, he together with others pioneered the formation of the Movement for Democratic Change.
He taught this country democracy and the dignity that comes with tolerating political differences.
During his short stint in government, he showcased that his criticism of the Mugabe regime went beyond mere rhetoric. He lives his words. He was bound to his ideals; a man f principle, a man of honour and indeed a humble man.
President Tsvangirai showed it was possible to use government as an arena to infuse positive change in the lives of the people.
As he ebbs into the sunset, the only befitting tribute this party can pay him is by showcasing unity and togetherness.
The spirit of oneness, convergence, accord and agreement will be in keeping with his legacy in this dark hour for the family, for the party and for Zimbabwe.
President Tsvangirai had outgrown his family and his party. As we remember his mammoth contribution to the people’s collective struggle for positive change, we can only do so with the realization that he was a national hero.
His towering contribution will continue to loom large for generations to come.
The story of Zimbabwe’s politics will never be fully told without due recognition to the towering brand of Morgan Tsvangirai—a man whose indelible footprints will endure until end of time.
He shook the world. He marked a dispensation and moved hearts and minds.
To the Tsvangirai family, we grieve with you.
To mbuya Tsvangirai, we assure you this is not your loss alone.
To every Zimbabwean, we urge you to step into these great shoes and live a patriotic life underlined by the twin values of service and sacrifice.
To the generality of Zimbabweans, the business community, the church and fellow political parties, we wish to thank you for the befitting outpouring of grief and messages of condolences.
As a party, we will not only open a condolences book at harvest house, but we declare a week of national mourning in remembrance of this great icon of our struggle. We seek to remember him every hour, every time.
As we go towards the next election, we will not lose sight of the edifice of his legacy whose construction he wanted us to complete—-the legacy of a huge alliance for positive change.
We fully understand that in his last hours, he strove to leave a legacy of not only a united opposition but a nation sculpted into a huge alliance that goes beyond political parties.
He sought to leave a united people, a broad consensus, a grand coalition.
Indeed, his vision was an alliance that included workers, women, the youth, minority groups, people living with disability, war veterans, the elderly, vendors, workers, students, ordinary Zimbabweans and those in the Diaspora struggling to eke out a living in foreign lands.
He had a vision of a mammoth alliance that would move and shake the stubborn pillars of incompetence and cluelessness that define the current militarily junta futilely disguised as a civilian administration.
We ought to complete our democratic journey under the banner of that huge alliance. That is the only tribute we can pay his towering and enduring shadow that will live with us until his wishes are fulfilled.
As a party, we pledge to shelve our falacious differences and give this national hero a befitting send-off. President Tsvangirai deserves a resemblance of his true character; a character of peace, camaraderie, team spirit and consensus.
It would be remiss of us as a leadership to lose sight of the magnitude of this moment—the veneration that this people’s icon deserves in this sad hour of his departure.
As a party and as a leadership, we will work with the Tsvangirai family and ensure that we give this national hero the huge send-off that he duly deserves.
The party, the country and the whole of Africa will miss him.
Indeed, some of us began with him this struggle when we were in our teenage years. I personally became a man under his guidance and tutelage.
Go well Save.
Go well, gallant son of the soil.
Fambai zvakanaka Pakuru.
I thank you