Morgan Tsvangirai dies

ZIMBABWE’S main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, has died. The former trade union leader succumbed to colon cancer at a private South African hospital yesterday, aged 65.

BY ZERUBABEL MUDZINGWA

Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka confirmed the tragic news last night, saying “our democratic icon is no more”.

“The MDC-T and Zimbabwe as a whole have been left poorer with his death,” he said.

Tamborinyoka described Tsvangirai as the face of opposition politics in Zimbabwe and the MDC-T.

One of Tsvangirai’s deputies, Elias Mudzuri, in a tweet last night, wrote: “As you are aware that our MDC-T president Dr Morgan Richard Tsvangirai has not been feeling well for some time, it is sad for me to announce that we have lost our icon and fighter for democracy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, the party and the nation at this hour.”

Tsvangirai, who served as Prime Minister of the coalition government between 2009 and 2013, had battled with colon cancer for at least two years, before his condition took a nosedive early this week, resulting in him being taken to the hospital’s intensive care unit.

His death, which came just a few months before the 2018 general elections, has dealt a huge blow to the country’s opposition politics, where he had already been nominated as the MDC-T and MDC Alliance presidential candidate.

News of Tsvangirai’s death has also triggered fears that the MDC-T could split given the fierce fighting that had already engulfed the opposition party in the last few weeks with his three deputies — Nelson Chamisa, Mudzuri and Thokozani Khupe — all fiercely jostling to succeed him.

The MDC-T founding leader died a few hours before his party’s national council and executive council were due to meet to resolve the fierce fights centred around his successor.

Before his latest hospital readmission, Tsvangirai had appointed Chamisa to represent him at the MDC Alliance, giving his youthful lieutenant an edge over Mudzuri and Khupe, although his “heir apparent” was facing fierce resistance from some top MDC-T officials.

The MDC Alliance is a broader coalition of seven political parties formed last year to take on Zanu PF.

The former trade union leader publicly disclosed his health condition in 2016, becoming the second top Zimbabwean politician to open up on his health after the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo, who also went public that he was battling with prostate cancer before he died in 1999.

However, it is his arduous political journey against the well-oiled Zanu PF machinery that made Tsvangirai an iconic figure within and outside the country after he mobilised workers, churches, business, women’s and students’ organisations and other interest groups and formed the MDC in 1999.

Despite fierce intimidation targeted at his person and his supporters, Tsvangirai built a formidable opposition party that gave former President Robert Mugabe hard times and came close to winning power in parliamentary elections in 2000 and in a presidential vote in 2002.

In 2008, he gave Mugabe another headache when he won the first round of the presidential race, but fell short of gaining the majority vote to be declared winner.

He, however, later pulled out in the second round in protest over persecution of his supporters by ruling party supporters aided by the military and war veterans.

Tsvangirai later grudgingly joined a unity government that lasted until the 2013 election, which Mugabe again won amid reports of massive rigging.

Tsvangirai’s leadership was, however, not without glitches, as he saw his party split three times during his tenure with all the breakaway factions blaming him for exhibiting dictatorial tendencies, although at the time of his death he had managed to bring them back under one tent, MDC Alliance.

A leaked United States diplomatic cable also seemed to confirm the allegations, describing him as “a flawed figure, not readily open to advice, indecisive and with questionable judgment”.

87 Comments

  1. Rest in peace braveheart, a true Zimbabwean hero

  2. You were my Hero in the political spaces and thank you for all your contributions in steering Zimbabwe towards democracy. You fought and good fight and you were a symbol of courage. I was proud to call you my President.

    May your soul rest in peace President Morgan Tswangirai.

  3. May the icon, King of Zimbabwe and my hero soul rest in eternal peace. I am robbed

  4. it was just too early my President too early to see you no more

  5. Ohh shame.the nation has lost a prominent opposition leader!

  6. Our spirits are with you President in this black time of sorrow.Rest in peace the brave fighter, i am robbed of a gallant.

  7. Chamisa Chipedzisa basa. Make Tsvangirai’s life worth the struggle

    1. True!! Tsvangurai haana kufira mahara!!

  8. ummm sorry. May his soul rest in peace. We can not talk of real opposition parties without mentioning Morgan Tsvangirai. Your fight can not be forget, go well.

  9. 2 Timothy 4 vs 7-8. Makarwa kurwa kwakanaka Save. Zororai murugare.

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    1. Iwe chimbomira zvemushonga yako!

    2. vamwe vari kuchema iwe wava kutaura zvemiszhonga isina basa

  11. RIP, my president

    1. A TRUE HERO GONE

  12. Comment…rest in peace Cde Morgan
    Tasara naVaMudzuri

  13. Rest in peace Morgan Tsvangirai.Its heart felt grief.

    It now reminds me of a biblical scenario,where Moses could not make it to Canaan but Joshua.So Chamisa take us to Canaan.

  14. RIP Save

  15. Rest In eternal peace President Morgan Tsvangirai you inspired me to stand up i was the first to distribute MDC membership cards in Chirumanzu in year 2000 and i suffered and endured the struggle and never gave up.Sleep well gamba re Zimbabwe

  16. Zororai Save, you fought a good fight. You will be remembered for your fight for democracy.

  17. Rest in peace MT truly a sad day for Zimbabweans..

  18. Your departure comrade Dr. Morgan Richard Tsvangirai will strengthen our resolve for the liberation and attainment of democracy in Zimbabwe. We will fight to achieve your goal.Continue to guide us in spirit. Rest in eternal peace.

    1. guide us in spirit indeed so that we finish what you and other brave Zimbabweans started. we have to win the elections to fulfill your dream . RIP DR.

  19. RIP Morgan we are indeed democratically poor without you our leader

  20. Comment…VaMudzuri pedzisai ndima .look at North Korea they voted into power this young tycoons ,c now akuda kuunza Hondo.
    ndima inoda mandimbar ndimbar.
    lead us Cde Mudzuri

  21. Eish! THis bloke and his wife were killed for fighting for rights of ordinary Zimboz like me! Very sad indeed!

  22. Rest in Peace comrade you are remembered

  23. Thanks for the contribution you made to Zimbabwean politics.RIP Save.

  24. rest in peace our icon,our champion of democracy our unifier, the mdct will never be the same without you president.mwari vaita kuda kwavo

  25. May his soul rest in peace. Tarwadziwa

  26. RIP our icon and greatest and fearless political leader of our times. Condolence to the whole nation and family. You will be sadly missed. You stood by the people and fought oppression fearlessly.

  27. This is material for Hero’s Acre. I hope this will not have to be debated by Zanu pf but by the people of Zimbabwe. RIP the people’s President.

  28. Vakasakadza nyama yenyu, vakakuitai kafira mberi, asi mweya wenyu vakaukonewa, but l thank you for the brave fight.
    RIP Save

  29. MAKARWISA SAVE ZORORAI MURUGARE RWASHE.IM IN PAIN RYT NOW.MY CONDOLENCES TO TSVANGIRAIs FAMILY AND TO THE NATION AS A WHOLE

  30. Rest in peace Dr Morgan Richard Tsvangirai,zororai murugare save

  31. Rest in Peace our GENUINE HERO.

  32. Taomerwa ! tingaita wani? His ideas shall leave longer!!

  33. Tarwadziwa. Zororai henyu SAVE. Mwari vaita kuda kwavo. We will make sure Zim is truly democratic as we strive to build this nation.

  34. Gone too soon Save, you fought as a brave gallant warrior for democracy and your dream will be realized, rest in eternal peace, we salute you, seriously if there is a true NATIONAL HERO no-one is better than you.

  35. I CAN’T HOLD BACK MY TEARS. RIP MY HERO, WHAT YOU DESERVE FOR YOUR BRAVERY IS NOT HERE WITH MORTALS, ONCE AGAING BYE BYE GALLANT SON OF ALL THE PEOPLE OF ZIMBABWE.

  36. Ndabatikana RIP SAVE

  37. MY PRESIDENT,REST IN PEACE SAVE,MAKATRWA KURWA KWAKANAKA

  38. A true fighter for democracy and one who most Zimbabweans loved. Had this acumen of making the rest of the country rally around him despite ethnic, regional or such differences. This is a hero of the post – independence era.

  39. you were an icon,a leader,a family man,a pathfinder,a hero and above all an inspiration RIP my president

    1. ndiyo nzira yedu tese. tichaoonana mwari vachida. zororai murugare our hero

  40. R.I.P Morgan Tsvangirai. You fought the good fight.

  41. may your soul rest in eternal peace my hero

  42. Mildred Mathebula

    Comment…ummm tarasikirwa .rest in peace.u fought a good fight .

  43. Rest in peace our hero,we shall always remember your good works.

  44. The Greatest 0pposition President the Republic of Zimbabwe Morgan may ur saul Rest In Peace and God 4gives u in everything has gone wrong

  45. Rest in peace. Iam sure the people of Zimbabwe will fulfil your wish to see a free and prosperous Zimbabwe

  46. A commendable fight Save. R.I.P.

  47. Rest in peace. A great man of our age

  48. Makarwa kurwa kukuru kurwa kunoshamisa. Makabata basa guru.
    Fambai zvakanaka President Morgan Richard Save Tsvangirai

  49. RIP gamba rema OPPOSITION parties…fighting for democracy

    1. lsaac frank willie

      Comment…may your soul rest in peace ..our national hero

  50. May your soul rest in eternal peace our hero cde Morgan Tsvangirai

  51. ALLUTA CONTINUEA THE STRUGGLES CONTINUES LETS BE UNITED FOR THE GOOD OF OUR CHILDREN REGARDLESS OF COLOUR OR CREED ,REST IN PEACE DR. M.R TSVANGIRAI WE WILL SADLY MISS YOU.TRUE STRUGGLE SAYS UNITED WE STAND DIVIDED WE FALL.

  52. Tabaiwa panyama nhete, what a fall was that my countrymen!! Rest in peace Save

  53. Im so hurt cant hold back mi tears.MHSRIP.Gallant son of zimbabwe our hero and fighter

  54. Comment…

  55. The giant of the giants ,you departed so quickly. My your soul rest in peace,we will remember your true statesman and fighting spirit for democracy against the oppressor.

  56. Tears alone cannot aptly describe the pain that we are feeling as Zimbabweans. The void is so large. You gave it your all and only the Almighty knows why it had to be at this moment. You fight your fight now it is up to us to keep that light burning. Words cannot even begin to describe the pain that has befallen us. May your soul rest in eternal peace and to the Tsvangirai family forbearance. Let his spirit be the major guiding light. Even in death we still need your guidance. Once more rest in eternal peace.

  57. Rest in peace our President.There were high temptation to use force to remove the dectatorship,we you aplaud for directing your part to peaceful democratic project.The modern history of Zimbabwe is incomplete without your name.

    Rest in peace my President,Rest in peace my hero

  58. You fought your fight and only the Almighty knows why He had to call you home at this hour. Your shall be missed by all peace loving Zimbabweans. Even in death we still need your guidance. You taught us the essence of bravery; the never die spirit that is inherent in all of us. Rest in eternal peace and the the Tsvangirai – forbearance. The Good Lord will guide. Lets forge on. RIP OUR HERO

  59. Haa marwadzisa baba ndaidawo kuti mungotongawo just 1term haa zvaramba zvisinei hazvo Mwari vaita kuda kwavo rest in peace Baba fambai zvakanaka gamba renyika i cant explain the feeling We shall always remember you Comment…

  60. RIP SAVE , chinja maitiro Hezvoko BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

  61. Pasi harimboguta….Misodzi tinochema..makatisira ropa risingaperi

  62. Rest in peace SAVE.Chokwadi vakanaka havarame nguva yakareba,kunosara vana Mugabe.Misodzi tirikuchema.

  63. RIP our beloved Hero

  64. Comment…Rest in peace True Son of Zimbabwe, your fight for the people of Zimbabwe will forever be cherished by all.

  65. hwihwi kuchema honA NDARANGARIRA GAMBA REZIMBABWE.RIP MR PRESIDENT

  66. The sun has set too early. A dark moment for all peace loving Zimbabweans. Hazvina mhosva Mwari vatonga sekuda kwavo. Fambai zvakanaka baba, ndimbandimba, gamba guru reZimbabwe. The battle is still on. Hatisati tasvika asi tichasvika chete. Munenge muchitiona muri ikoko. ZORORAI MURUGARE DR M.R TSVANGIRAI (SAVE)

  67. Say given a Hero Status,the National Shrine for the first time in history is too small to hold t crowd paying last respect to a true Hero Gamba reMagamba.
    My appeal to the relevant authorities n ZRP is to temporarily close Byo road coz isu maChinja n all Zimbabweans mourning TSVANGIRAI hatikwane muHeroes Acre

  68. ZORORAI MURUGARE OUR HERO. YOU WILL BE SADLY MISSED. NDIYO NZIRA YEDU TESE

  69. RIP Chibaba Morgan

  70. REST IN PEACE SAVE

  71. R.I.P our Hero…wakafamba mugwara

  72. Zororai murugare Save! Zimbabwe never be same again because of your sacrifice. MHSRIEP

  73. Some people had planned and implemented, indeed, stage-managed our poverty but God Almighty sent you to help us. You took us from the throngs of poverty with your dollar-for-two policy. When you tried to increase our salaries they refused. They stole from us, beat us and impoverished us! You stood firm, never stole whilst they stole from us,never embezzled whilst they embezzled our funds, never wavered on matters concerning our democracy! You were a leader par excellency, a fighter for our rights and democracy, a real icon, a liberator, a fearless democrat, defender of orphans and widows! The sun has set but surely another will rise again tomorrow! We pray for peace and tranquility, and…another leader! Rest in peace paragon of democracy and epitome of leadership!

  74. Comment Hamba kahle qhawee iMatabeleland ilahlekelwe kakhuluu ,bajabule namhlanje ngoba iphupho labo lifezekile ontaba kayikhonjwa abayibo abakufaka icancer,kodwa labo selimathunzi kubo abalibambe lingatshoni.

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