Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Three memorable quotes from the late Morgan Tsvangirai

Three memorable quotes from the late Morgan Tsvangirai

He was aged 65 and had reportedly been suffering from colon cancer.

MDC member Elias Mudzuri tweeted this evening: "As you are aware that our MDC T President, Dr Morgan Richard Tsvangirai has not been feeling well for some time, it is sad for me to announce that we have lost our icon and fighter for democracy. The family communicated this to me".

The family through his wife has confirmed news of his sudden demise, with MDC party Vice president saying he will be remembered for his fearless fight of democracy and change.

His death leaves the opposition's chances in question ahead of new elections promised by Zanu-PF leader Emmerson Mnangagwa after Mugabe was ousted in a coup a year ago.

Tsvangirai proved no match for Mugabe's wily political manoeuvering, which drew on his record as a leader in the struggle against white minority rule, his often violent intolerance of opposition, and his ability to marshal support from regional and broader African political forces.

In 2002 a doctored video surfaced of Morgan Tsvangirai purportedly plotting with a former Israeli intelligence agent to assassinate Mugabe.

Politician David Coltart‏ on Thursday said while Tsvangirai made some mistakes, he was committed to transforming Zimbabwe and deserved to be called a hero. This has left rivals to fight among themselves to succeed him as party leader and candidate. "Had it not been for his leadership and his determination, I think we would have been stuck with our old constitution". Tsvangirai decided instead that the MDC should boycott the election.

In the years to come, Tsvangirai would spend less time in the spotlight, and his dream of a peaceful and democratic transition of power from Mugabe was never realized. "He stood firm and on the side of the people when the dictatorship was at it's most risky".

Tsvangirai was born the eldest of nine children in a working-class family and was a miner for many years.

He later rose to become head of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and as congress severed ties with Zanu-PF, Tsvangirai led a series of strikes in late 1997 and early 1998.

A powerful public speaker who challenged Mugabe and was one time charged with treason, he had six children with his late wife Susan, who died in a 2009 vehicle accident.

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