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.