Morgan Tsvangirai, Mugabe’s staunchest opponent, and the brains behind the Movement for Democratic Change, has passed on.
Tsvangirai remains a beacon of resistance toward a government that shunned his party and its constant call for equality.
Zimbabwe’s longtime opposition leader and former Prime Minister, has died in a South African hospital at the age of 65 after frequenting hospital since June 2016 with colon cancer.
Tsvangirai’s death paves way to a power increase not only in MDC, but also consolidates the power of ZANU-PF ahead of elections later this year. Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took over as President and ZANU-PF leader after Mugabe’s resignation last November, will be the heavy favorite to win the vote.
Tsvangirai was born the eldest of nine children in a working-class family and was a miner for many years.
He joined ZANU-PF in 1980 after Zimbabwe’s independence and rose quickly through the ranks.
In 1989 he became secretary general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, emerging as opposition leader in 1997 and forming the MDC two years later.
In 2007, the world was shocked to see pictures of Tsvangirai’s injuries after he was beaten by police for taking part in a prayer meeting that authorities said was illegal.
Tsvangirai was the main challenger to Mugabe in 2008 elections, and managed to win 47% of the vote against ZANU-PF’s 43% in the first round, sending the vote to a runoff.
After the duo signed a power-sharing deal that allowed Mugabe to remain President and made Tsvangirai the prime minister in a unity government from 2009 to 2013, Tsvangirai’s wife, Susan, was involved in a car accident that claimed her life.
Tsvangirai challenged Mugabe in the 2013 election but lost in an election he claimed before withdrawing. – NDN Staffer