MDC-T president Mr Nelson Chamisa yesterday paid tribute to the ruling Zanu-PF Government and Parliament for extending a helping hand during the party’s founding president Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s funeral wake and burial. Mr Chamisa thanked President Mnangagwa and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga in particular and Government ministers who took time off their busy schedules to pay their last respects.
He was speaking in the National Assembly yesterday. The unity of purpose illustrated at the burial of Mr Tsvangirai, he said, should extend to other sectors such as revamping the economy.
Mr Tsvangirai succumbed to colon cancer at Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre in Johannesburg on February 14. He was buried at his rural home in Buhera a few days later. “I stand here to give an important message to the Speaker and the President of the country,” he said.
“I want to send this message related to a sad thing that happened to us as a country when we lost our former Prime Minister (Morgan Tsvangirai),” said Mr Chamisa.
“It is the way that Government handled this issue that has made me, with humility, stand here as leader of a party recognised by this country as the alternative government that I happen to lead. I thank, especially Parliament represented by Members of Parliament, who all joined hands to pay homage to a man who contributed a lot to his country.
“That must be applauded. We hope this will unite our people. As a leader who was given the mantle to lead, we are looking at a new political system and a new way of doing things despite our differences. Even on our important days like Defence Forces, we want to do things differently.”
Mazowe South legislator Cde Fortune Chasi welcomed Mr Chamisa’s remarks, but urged him to condemn the violence that marred Mr Tsvangirai’s burial, where rowdy MDC-T youths threatened to burn a hut in which the party’s co-vice president Dr Thokozani Khupe had sought refugee after being asaulted.
“I think the story would not be complete without us making reference to the violence that transpired,” he said. “It would be amiss for this house not to abhor the violence on some of the leaders like Dr Khupe and the violence that took place in Bulawayo.”