Zimbabwe leader says fair elections 'tribute' to Tsvangirai
Zimbabwe leader says fair elections 'tribute' to Tsvangirai
File Morgan Tsvangirai leader of the Movement for Democratic Change lost his battle with cancer on Wednesday
16 February, 2018, 21:50
The 65-year-old former prime minister, had reportedly been suffering from colon cancer, where he had spent 18 months undergoing treatment for cancer.
Tsvangirai, who founded the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party in 1999, was among the most prominent critics of Mugabe, the long-time authoritarian leader who was ousted from power in November. "The family communicated this to me", MDC vice-president Elias Mudzuri said.
Tsvangirai's death ends a long campaign that brought him jailings, beatings and accusations of treason as he tried to topple the Zanu PF-led government.
Political violence was especially severe during the 2008 elections, when Tsvangirai won the first round of the presidential vote.
In June the following year, Mr Tsvangirai inspired poorer voters with his rhetoric, stunning the ruling ZANU-PF party by winning 57 of the 120 seats in parliament.
The party's National Council announced that its vice president, Nelson Chamisa, was taking the role of acting president following Tsvangirai's death. The late opposition party leader was battling colon cancer which he was diagnosed with three years ago.
"Morgan Tsvangirai represented courage and determination in the face of oppression, and gave ordinary Zimbabweans faith to believe in the future", tweeted British foreign minister Boris Johnson.
British politician, Boris Johnson also expressed his sadness at Tsvangirai's death, describing him as a courageous leader that represented "courage" and "determination" who "gave ordinary Zimbabweans faith to believe in the future".
Vice president, retired General Costantino Chiwenga, described the late Tsvangirai as a true son of the soil.
Zimbabwe's new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has made no public statement yet on the former trade union leader's death but postponed a trip to Bulawayo in the south of Zimbabwe due to other "pressing commitments", the state-owned Herald newspaper said.
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