Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Tributes pour for Tsvangirai in memory of 5th anniversary of his death

The struggle for democracy in post-independence Zimbabwe cannot be discussed without the special mention of the late former Prime Minister (2009 to 2013) Morgan Richard Tsvangirai.

Today, 14 February 2023, marks exactly five years since the pro-democracy icon died at the age of 65 after reportedly suffering from colorectal cancer.

Tsvangirai led the Movement for Democratic Change party during the time of late former President Robert Mugabe who was removed from office through a military coup in November 2017.

He was a key figure in the opposition to Mugabe whose reign was characterised by totalitarianism, corruption, maladministration and election rigging.

After his death, he was replaced by Nelson Chamisa who led the MDC Alliance to the 2018 elections against Zanu-PF’s Emmerson Mnangagwa.

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Morgan Tsvangirai seen here with Nelson Chamisa
Morgan Tsvangirai seen here with Nelson Chamisa

Chamisa was controversially defeated in a plebiscite result that was marred by allegations of rigging and the killing of more than six opposition activists by soldiers.

With the alleged help of the State, Chamisa’s rivals in the MDC Alliance, led by Douglas Mwonzora went on to grab the party, taking its funds and recalling MPs and councillors.

In January 2022, Chamisa formed the new Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) and went on to win 19 seats out of 28 in the by-elections held in March that year.

Chamisa has vowed to maintain the principles of his mentor, the founding opposition leader Tsvangirai.

The late MDC founder Morgan Tsvangirai
The late MDC founder Morgan Tsvangirai

Posting on his Twitter handle, Chamisa on Tuesday cited the things that he learnt from the late labour activist.

“5 YEARS ON.. We are still standing! The struggle continues! The pursuit of justice never ends. The 5 key lessons you taught me; Never keep or carry a grudge. Don’t pursue vengeance. Seek peace with all men. Ignore haters, cynics and doomsayers. Stay focused, stay the course! RIP Save,” he said.

CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere encouraged the young people to register to vote in remembrance of Tsvangirai.

“Today, we remember one of the most iconic forebears of the struggle for democracy in Zimbabwe, the late Dr Morgan Tsvangirai, whom we lost on 14 February 2018. He always encouraged the young to register to vote and Zimbabweans to be united. We must do so in memory of him,” she said.

Vimbai Tsvangirai Java with her late father Morgan Tsvangirai
Vimbai Tsvangirai Java with her late father Morgan Tsvangirai

Top investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono said the country needed to learn from Tsvangirai.

“It is 5 years today since Morgan Tsvangirai died from cancer. He was Zimbabwe’s 2nd Prime Minister, one who was denied his mandate to the State House through violence and rigging of elections!

“He also made monumental mistakes that we should learn from. May his soul Rest in Peace,” Chin’ono said.

Political commentator Pedzisai Ruhanya said: “FIVE years ago today we lost a democratic resistance fighter in Morgan Tsvangirai.

“RIP big dhara. It’s saddening that someone who was with Muzorewa when you and others took the regime head on has been given your party and it has collapsed. Your MDC is dead, it has joined Zanu-PF.” Ruhanya tweeted.