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BUHERA (ZIMBABWE), (Xinhua) -- Supporters wait for the van carrying the body of former Zimbabwean Prime Minister and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in Buhera, Manicaland Province, Zimbabwe, on Feb. 20, 2018. Tsvangirai was buried at his rural home in Buhera on Tuesday. XINHUA PHOTO: SHAUN JUSA

Funeral parade held for Zimbabwe opposition leader Tsvangira 

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- A public funeral ceremony was held Monday for the late Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai who died in South Africa last week after a long battle with cancer.

The former prime minister will be buried Tuesday at his rural home in Buhera, 300 km southeast of the capital Harare.

Scores of mourners thronged an open space on the outskirts of the capital to pay their last respect to the late Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) leader who was the face of opposition politics in Zimbabwe.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa led the nation in mourning Tsvangirai and his government accorded the departed opposition leader a state-assisted funeral in recognition of his role in the fight for peace and democracy.

On Sunday, Mnangagwa visited Tsvangirai’s residence in the capital to pay his condolences and assured the family that the government would pay Tsvangirai’s medical bills.

At the ceremony, speakers who included opposition leaders from other African nations hailed Tsvangirai for his tireless efforts in fighting for democracy in Zimbabwe.

Namibia’s opposition leader McHenry Venaani described Tsvangirai as a strong fighter for democracy, saying it was through his efforts that opposition figures like him could now easily come into Zimbabwe.

Acting MDC-T president Nelson Chamisa said the party will work hard to win in the upcoming vote as a way to honor Tsvangirai.

“We will not disappoint Morgan Tsvangirai,” said Chamisa who is in a battle with two other party deputy presidents over Tsvangirai succession.

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga also arrived in Harare on Monday to attend the burial of Tsvangirai.



Zimbabwe government to fulfil pledges made
to Tsvangirai: President Mnangagwa

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Sunday that the government will fulfill its financial and material promisess made to the late former prime minister and opposition Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Addressing mourners at Tsvangirai’s home in Harare where he had gone to pay his condolences, Mnangagwa said he would see to it that pledges he made to the late premier are fulfilled, the state-run New Ziana reported.

“I visited Tsvangirai last month and made some promises to him. I will not renege on those promises. My government will also settle his hospital bill as promised.

“When funeral processes are done, I will let the family know what I had promised him. I will fulfill all the pledges I made to him,” said Mnangagwa.

The government was also paying for Tsvangirai’s hospital and medication bills up to the time of his death.

In January, Mnangagwa visited Tsvangirai at his residence to check on him since he had been unwell for some time.

Mnangagwa said Tsvangirai’s body would be flown to his rural home in Buhera for burial on Tuesday.

“We are all Zimbabweans. We might disagree on how to get where we need to be, but no political party wants the worst for the country,” said Mnangagwa.

Tsvangirai died in South Africa on Wednesday after a long battle with cancer. He was 65. The Zimbabwe government has accorded him a state-assisted funeral.

A former trade unionist, Tsvangirai had been the face of Zimbabwean opposition politics since 2009. He became prime minister in an inclusive government led by former President Robert Mugabe in 2009 following disputed elections the year before.



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