HARARE, (Xinhua) --
Zimbabwe’s opposition MDC-T party on Thursday
saluted its late leader Morgan Tsvangirai as a “doyen of
democracy” who deserves national hero status.
Addressing a press
conference at the party headquarters in the capital Harare after
the party’s national council meeting, acting party president
Nelson Chamisa said the MDC-T had been devastated by the death
which comes a few months before crucial elections mid-year.
“We have lost a
great giant. We are very much saddened that we have lost our
very crucial soldier at a very important and crucial moment. We
are just four months away from an election. We have lost a
commander,” Chamisa said.
He said the greatest
thing they can do to Tsvangirai’s legacy is winning the upcoming
chairman Morgan Komichi said the national council resolved to
appoint Nelson Chamisa as the party’s acting president for the
next 12 months.
The party had also
suspended its programs until after Tsvangirai’s burial, Komichi
Meanwhile, two other
party deputies, Elias Mudzuri and Thokozani Khupe, did not
attend the meeting of the national council, the party’s highest
decision-making body outside congress.
The party’s three
leaders, Chamisa, Mudzuri and Khupe, are clashing over who
should succeed Tsvangirai who succumbed to colon cancer in a
South African hospital on Wednesday aged 65.
He had been battling
the disease since 2016.
Zimbabwe government has announced that it will help Tsvangirai’s
family to meet funeral expenses.
Mnangagwa on Thursday sent a condolence message to the
Tsvangirai family, saying Tsvangirai would be remembered
especially for his readiness to stretch and reach out across the
political divide for a government of national unity after the
polarizing 2008 elections.
“Both in and after
the government of national unity, he remained a national figure
who obdurately insisted on free, fair, credible and non-violent
elections as a way of strengthening our democracy and our
overall re-engagement with the rest of the world,” Mnangagwa