Ash Wednesday is the day that the traditional churches remember that the human being is mortal; the Priest physically draws a cross of ash on each of the foreheads of every congregant accompanied by the following words.
“Yeukai murihuruva muchadzokera kuhuruva (dust you came and dust you will return)
This is the day that the Maker called Dr Morgan Richard Tsvangirai back to the place of eternal resting, symbolically reminding folks of the need to take comfort in the fact that mortal men at some point will demise. It is a call to self-introspection, particularly on the life we lead, we in the MDC Alliance are proud of the work that Tsvangirai led.
We remember his unwavering commitment to the struggle for majority emancipation against all forms of oppression including neo-colonialism.
He led in times of suffering, many a time was exiled, he was beaten by fellow countrymen, always had a threat on his life, was arrested and charged with the crimes of the highest nature including treason, lost friends and comrades at the peak of it lost a loved one yet remained committed.
Up to Wednesday, he remained committed to the idea of finishing what we started back in 1998, a task placed on him and others by the workers
convention held at the Women’s Bureau. The task to rescue the hijacked agenda of the liberation struggle and redefining the Zimbabwean dream.
Under his leadership, we aptly captured this dream in section 8 of the national constitution.
“The establishment, enhancement and promotion of a sustainable, just, free and democratic society in which people enjoy prosperous, happy and fulfilling lives.”
He did not only fight to allow the pursuit of happiness but was beacon of democratic inspiration in Africa. Inspiring the continent to challenge vampire states and coconut republics created by the elites in Africa. He was, therefore, a hero at home and abroad, receiving baton sticks at home and accolades abroad. Most people will remember his nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, which happened twice in a row.
He was also a voice of reason who many a time rose above toxicity and hatred, often choosing magnanimity and love, maybe those who were heads over heels on Valentine’s Day will say “hang on we can relate to this.”
The love birds can also relate to the symbolic red colour they wore yesterday, the colour of Tsvangirai’s party.
He displayed his love for his country and displayed a magnanimous act by his last deed, the idea of bringing together everyone around a noble cause including some of us who had at some point viciously disagreed with him. The big idea leading to the formation of the MDC Alliance. His distinguished public service as prime minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe, saw the stabilisation of a state that was sniffing at failure.
Looking back even on Ash Wednesday, this was a worthy life. A life dedicated to a worthy cause. Christians who are not familiar with Ash Wednesday will, however, remember reading chapter 14 verses 1 and 2 of the book of Job.
“Man that is born of women is of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth like a shadow and continueth not.”
We take comfort in this scripture, also remember many other souls we lost along the way including some who were maimed and killed by Zanu PF. As we are forced to update our Hall of Fame, we take pride in that today we add the peak of the names to this list, which includes Gibson Sibanda, Isaac Matongo, Roy “Pachedu” Bennett, Better Chokururama, Godfrey Kauzani, Tonderai Ndira and others.
We celebrate the life of Tsvangirai and we recommit to his ideals, we are indebted to his commitment and we will finish off the journey he walked for so long. The People’s Democratic Party expresses its heartfelt condolence to the Tsvangirai family, the MDC-T, the MDC Alliance and the nation at large on the passing of a national icon Tsvangirai.
May his soul rest in eternal peace.
Jacob Mafume, PDP spokesperson