HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
Zimbabweans and the international community on
Thursday mourned opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai who
succumbed to colon cancer in a South African hospital Wednesday.
government officials to ordinary people on the streets,
Zimbabweans expressed grief over the death of Tsvangirai who has
been the face of opposition politics in Zimbabwe since 1999 when
he founded his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party.
“The MDC family
mourns with the Tsvangirai family over the unexpected loss of an
icon, a unifier, a peacemaker, a fighter, a brave leader and
somebody who was principled.
“We are really
grieving over this sudden loss. It is not only a loss to the MDC
family but a loss to Zimbabwe and the whole of Africa,” said MDC
parliamentarian Tapiwa Mashakada.
He said his death
was a huge blow to the party but indicated that his demise does
not signify the end of the struggle for democracy in Zimbabwe.
“In actual fact, we
have to strive to make sure that the ideals that he fought for
are achieved. So it’s just a continuation of the struggle so
that his legacy remains,” he said.
Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday mourned the death of Tsvangirai,
saying he would be accorded a state-assisted burial while
lauding him as a fearless fighter for the rights of workers and
democracy in his later life as a politician.
President Constantino Chiwenga said he was saddened by
Tsvangirai’s death, who he described as a son of the soil.
“We are saddened by
the death of MT, we will sit and see how Zimbabweans can honor
that great son of the soil,” Chiwenga said on Twitter.
The U.S. Embassy in
Harare expressed its deep condolences over Tsvangirai’s death
and said it hoped his spirit and determination would help carry
the country forward to a brighter future.
The European Union
delegation in Zimbabwe also mourned Tsvangirai, saying it was
saddened by his demise. It said Tsvangirai will be remembered as
a great trade unionist and a courageous man who stood up for
multi-party democracy and justice in Zimbabwe.
politician and government minister Saviour Kasukuwere said
Tsvangirai’s legacy will remain etched in the hearts of
“It is a great loss.
We had hoped that Tsvangirai, even while sick, would continue to
be with us and give us strength in our fight for democracy in
Zimbabwe,” said Edmore Murove, who was among scores of party
supporters gathered at party headquarters in the capital to
Tsvangirai, a former
trade unionist, formed his MDC party in 1999, a party that was
to become Zimbabwe’s major opposition party post-independence in
He died aged 65 in
South Africa Wednesday after battling colon cancer since 2016.
comes at a time when his party is rocked with infighting by the
party’s three deputies who are vying to succeed him, and comes a
few months before polls scheduled for mid-2018.
Tsvangirai was the
presidential candidate for the broader MDC Alliance, a coalition
of seven opposition parties seeking to challenge the ruling ZANU
party in the polls.
No national hero status for
Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe’s Mnangagwa says
HARARE, (Xinhua) --
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa said
Thursday the late former Prime Minister and opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai will be accorded a state-assisted funeral, but
not national hero status as his party has been pushing for,
state news agency New Ziana reported.
Mnangagwa told the
media on the sidelines of the official opening of the Zimbabwe
Republic Police Central Investigations Department (CID)
headquarters in the capital Harare that the government would
ensure that the late trade unionist and opposition leader would
get a befitting send-off.
“Last night we
instructed our embassy in Pretoria to assist in any manner
possible for catering of the body, to make sure it is kept in
the correct place. We will give every assistance possible. I
have discussed with my colleagues, what honor, we are going to
give him,” he said.
Tsvangirai would be bestowed the national hero status to enable
him to be interred at the national shrine, Mnangagwa said: “No,
No. We will give him a state-assisted funeral.”
The president said
Zimbabwe had lost a great contributor to the fight for
“Obviously, as a
nation, we feel we have lost a man who has his contribution to
the political landscape of this country. Yes he was in the
opposition, but he was striving to make sure there is democracy
in the country, from his perspective, and he has been in the
political arena for a very long time,” he said.
“So our politics
have been shaped by his contribution in this country,” Mnangagwa
succumbed to colon cancer on Wednesday in neighboring South
Africa after a two-year battle with the disease.
referred to by his followers as Save, his totem, Tsvangirai was
leader of the biggest opposition party in Zimbabwe, the Movement
for Democratic Change, since its formation in 1999.
it out with former President Robert Mugabe in three election
cycles without success.
He failed to
dislodge the veteran leader and his ZANU-PF party but came close
in 2008, after winning the first round of the presidential vote,
but withdrew from the second round, citing violence against his
The dispute resulted
in the Southern African Development Community intervening and
negotiating a settlement which led to formation of a coalition
government in which Tsvangirai was made prime minister.
Zimbabwe opposition leader
Tsvangirai dies aged 65
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who has
been battling colon cancer, died at a South African hospital
A message posted by
one of his deputies in the MDC-T party Elias Mudzuri confirmed
in 2016 that he had been diagnosed with colon cancer and had
been in and out of hospital for some time.
“It is sad for me to
announce that we have lost our icon and fighter for democracy,”
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 previous
He had been chosen
by the broader MDC Alliance to be the coalition’s presidential
candidate in elections slated for 2018.
Zimbabwe in diamond talks with
Botswana: state media
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
Zimbabwe is holding talks with the Botswana
government to explore the possibility of it sending its gems to
the neighboring country for cutting and polishing, state
broadcaster ZBC reported on Tuesday.
Mnangagwa revealed this while touring the Diamond Trading
Company of Botswana at the conclusion of his two-day state visit
to Botswana on Tuesday, ZBC reported.
During the tour, the
president said if the talks between the government of Zimbabwe
and Botswana government are successful, Zimbabwe will send its
diamonds to Botswana for cutting and polishing, the ZBC said.
Zimbabwe has been
exporting its gems in raw form due to lack of beneficiation
The country is
planning to resume diamond auctions this month, having suspended
sales in February 2017 after the government in 2016 merged
operations of seven companies that were mining gems in Marange
in the eastern part of Zimbabwe.
The government of
former president Robert Mugabe accused the companies of lack of
transparency and accountability, and of prejudicing the state of
about 15 billion U.S. dollars in potential diamond revenue.
Some of the
companies took the government to court over their forced
eviction from the diamonds fields.
commercial diamond production in Marange in 2010. Over the
years, diamond production at the fields has declined sharply
from 12 million carats in 2012 to 1.8 million carats in 2017,
according to industry figures.
Miners have blamed
dwindling alluvial diamond deposits and lack of technology at
mine conglomerates for the low production.
Zimbabwe president mnangagwa
appoints new police chief
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has
appointed a new police chief following the retirement of former
Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri last December.
In a statement
published by The Herald on Tuesday, Public Service Commission
chairperson Mariyawanda Nzuwah said the appointment of
Tandabantu Godwin Matanga as the new commissioner-general of the
Zimbabwe Republic Police was with immediate effect.
Prior to the latest
appointment, the 56-year-old Matanga was one of four deputy
commissioner-generals in the police.
A veteran of the
country’s war for independence, Matanga joined the police in
1982 as a patrol officer and rose through the ranks to become
He became acting
commissioner-general following Chihuri’s retirement.
Matanga takes over
at a time when the police is trying to polish its image
following allegations of corruption within its rank and file.