BY TAPFUMANEI MUCHABAIWA
People from across the political divide yesterday took time to honour the late veteran trade unionist and opposition MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, with his long-time rivals from Zanu PF party describing him as “a national institution” and “beacon of democracy”.
The MDC founder succumbed to colon cancer on Valentine’s Day four years ago.
Addressing a Press conference in Harare, Zanu PF spokesperson Chris Mutsvangwa said: “Tsvangirai was a national institution and his name and the MDC party equally a beacon for the fight in Zimbabwe for what is just and what is democratic, now the name disappears in history, now Tsvangirai is gone, replaced by Chete Chete Chete and the name MDC is gone too, finished just like that can you imagine.”
Tsvangirai’s mentee, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa yesterday said his party would continue to celebrate his legacy despite breaking away from the MDC brand and forming a new outfit.
“A giant, a mentor, a fighter, a democrat and a confidante — this day you exited this life. They are still trying those old tactics they used against you. They will not succeed. The struggle is in safe hands. Sadly missed. Rest in power mudhara (old man),” Chamisa tweeted.
CCC national spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said they would continue drawing inspiration from Tsvangirai’s bravery to stand up “to the beast of dictatorship and for his contribution to the struggle for democracy in Zimbabwe”.
“This is the best honour we can give to his legacy. We will not allow the regime to consume or use us to fight the will of the people. We will ensure that we complete the mission of attaining a democratic Zimbabwe. One day, Zimbabwe will be free,” Mahere said.
MDC-T spokesperson Ntando Ndlovu said: “There is no debate that Tsvangirai deserves his own space in the national narrative for the significant role he played in shaping the country’s post liberation politics. We remember him as a leader who was able to listen to everyone regardless of their social status. He was, indeed, a man of the people.
“We implore all pro-democracy forces to form a united front to remove Zanu PF from power. That is the tribute that we can give to our late departed leader.”
Tsvangirai is credited for forming a formidable opposition party, MDC, which nearly dislodged Zanu PF in 2018. He was later roped in as Prime Minister of the coalition government and helped to bring political and economic stability in the country.