By Farayi Machamire
A pastor — Jimmy Dube — has slammed late Morgan Tsvangirai’s family over its wrangling, accusing them of dragging the name of the former prime minister into disrepute.
Speaking on Sunday at the Mabelreign Methodist Church service for the late veteran trade unionist, Dube told the family to desist from washing their dirty linen in public.
This comes as family disputes over the estate of Tsvangirai — who died in South Africa last week after a long battle with colon cancer — as well as wrangling over his succession in the opposition MDC have spilled into the public, with members of his clan at each other’s throats.
“I want to talk to the family… Vekwa (from) Makuvise nevekwa (and) Tsvangirai. We have travelled together the ups and downs of life. Zvekutaura pa (talking in) public zvemumusha siyanai nazvo (desist from speaking about internal family affairs in public),” Dube said to applause.
“This church raised you well. Gogo Tsvangirai vane bhachi re red (Tsvangirai’s mother Lydia Zvaipa is a senior member of the Methodist Church) and we raised you well zvekutaura pa public siyanai nazvo (desist from speaking about your family issues in public),”he said.
Amid the wrangling, Tsvangirai’s mother barred her son’s widow, Elizabeth Macheka, and party acting president Nelson Chamisa from attending the burial of the late opposition leader set for Buhera today.
As mourners gathered at the One Commando barrack’s mortuary to receive Tsvangirai’s body from South Africa on Saturday, Tsvangirai’s mother openly threatened to commit suicide, if the two attended the funeral.
She fumed: “Udza vana sekuru vako kuti Eliza handidi kumuwona pano, naChamisa. Kana speech yaChamisa handidi kuinzwa, ndinozvisungirira (Tell your uncles that I do not want to see Elizabeth and Chamisa. I will commit suicide if Chamisa delivers an address).”
Dube said it was important not to sully the legacy of the late MDC leader after everything he had done.
“Don’t forget kuti (that) vaTsvangirai ava won an election,” Dube said.
“I will repeat, in case there are people who don’t know. This is a public man from Buhera who won an election. This man won an election but that election became a fiasco and after that there was a lot of diplomatic activity to kind of reconcile this fiasco, to kind of clean up the mess, but this young man had won a clean election.
“After winning a clean election the goal posts where changed. Hanzi ngatitangei futi (they said let’s have a re-run).
“But the goal posts had already been moved. He won an election but gave up power for the sake of Zimbabwe. There is no greater love than this. That a man will sacrifice his own rights and give up power for the sake of the people.
“You can go back to that interview with the BBC where he says ‘for the sake of my people I cannot preside over a country with skeletons, take over…. if its power take over but enough is enough’ there is no greater love than that.”
In the wake of Tsvangirai’s death, MDC leaders have been unable to close ranks amid mixed reactions over the decision by the national council — the MDC’s highest making body in between congress — to appoint Chamisa as Tsvangirai’s succesor.
The process which led to Chamisa’s election as MDC’s acting president was rejected by some within the opposition, particularly vice president Elias Mudzuri, who felt that the party needed to first bury Tsvangirai before making any announcements.
Tsvangirai was a veteran of the struggle for democracy against the Zanu PF regime and was credited with changing the face of opposition politics in Zimbabwe.
He almost came within touching distance for presidency in 2008 only to be denied by arch-nemesis, former president Robert Mugabe, whom he had beaten in the first round, albeit failing short of the 51 percent threshold needed for an outright victory.
The consequent presidential election run-off was marred by electoral irregularities including violence against MDC party supporters and officials, forcing Tsvangirai to withdraw from the race. DailyNews