Published: Fri, February 16, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Longtime Mugabe foe Morgan Tsvangirai dies

Longtime Mugabe foe Morgan Tsvangirai dies

In political terms, the ruling ZANU-PF party and Mnangagwa, who paid a personal visit to Tsvangirai in January, stand to gain from the opposition leader's death, due to fighting within the MDC over who should succeed its founding father.

This was the first statement by Ramaphosa as the country's President.

Tsvangirai was forced to share Zimbabwe's top spot as Prime Minister, while Mugabe remained president.

Even as he fell ill with cancer, however, Tsvangirai failed to groom a successor, and he left behind a fractured party with no obvious leader to challenge Mnangagwa in the elections expected this year.

In the 2008 election, Tsvangirai got the most votes in the first round but before the second round, his supporters were victim to a campaign of violence meted out by Mugabe's security forces and so withdrew.

"Morgan will always be an icon of the democratic movement in Zimbabwe".

My interest in politics rose nearly instantly because of the kind of leaders the MDC had.

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Hogaamiyahan ayaa mar Ra'iisul Wasaare kasoo noqday dalka Zimbabwe, wuxuuna ahaa siyaasi caan ah, oo dhowr jeer ay xabsi gelisay dowladda Robert Mugabe. "But that's the game", Mugabe said on the eve of the 2013 vote, mimicking the movements of a boxer.

Tsvangirai was born the eldest of nine children in a working-class family and was a miner for many years. "Morgan Tsvangirai contributed immensely to changing the profile of the political landscape in Zimbabwe".

Vice president, retired General Costantino Chiwenga, described the late Tsvangirai as a true son of the soil.

Tsvangirai's career was not without controversy.

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. The dispute prompted Welshman Ncube to walk out with several MPs to form a new party, MDC-N.

"On behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, President Ramaphosa has conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr Tsvangirai, the Government and people of Zimbabwe on this sad loss".

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