We join the Tsvangirai family and the opposition MDC-T in mourning the death of party leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, who succumbed to colon cancer in South Africa on Wednesday. Mr Tsvangirai served as Prime Minister in the Inclusive Government (2009-2013).
He etched his name in the history of Zimbabwe from his days as a trade unionist until he entered full time politics, making him a national figure.
Whatever his errors of commission or omission, he helped shape our post-independence politics, which explains why Government has accorded him a State-assisted funeral. We hope his party will drop the bad he did, and move forward with the good for the betterment of the lives of our people. We also take stock of events of the past few months where we have witnessed some dramatic incidents that have served to show that the future of Sadc is indeed bright.
These changes were manifest in peaceful transfer of power in Zimbabwe, South Africa and soon Botswana. For a region touted as the Persian Gulf of Minerals, such peaceful changes are indeed commendable because global warmongers are ever ready to set brother against brother true to the dictum, when two dogs fight for a bone, it is the third dog that wins the fight.
We welcome Cde Cyril Ramaphosa, who took the baton from Cde Jacob Zuma yesterday.
We look forward to closer cooperation in line with President Mnangagwa’s refrain that Zimbabwe is open for business.
South Africa is not just a neighbour, it is also our biggest trading partner with which we share a common history of colonialism and protracted liberation struggles to do away with the same.
South Africa is also home to thousands of Zimbabwe who sought greener pastures after the West imposed illegal economic sanctions in the wake of Government’s decision to embark on the fast track land reform programme.
All things being equal, there are a number of lessons to be drawn by the region from Zimbabwe and South Africa’s scenarios and change of leadership.
Peace and security are paramount, thus events must not be allowed to reach a stage where they threaten these vital principles to growth and development.
Governments formed by former liberation movements must also realise that there is need to create robust governance and democratic systems. They should also realise that power derives from the people and that personality cults are dangerous for future growth.
We also salute the people of South Africa, including opposition political parties for allowing democratic processes to play out. The tipping point some prayed for could have resulted in chaos. Despite initial resistance, when Cde Zuma finally resigned, it was a mark of magnanimity for a man who has been an ANC cadre for more than six decades.
He said he realised that the door through which he entered the presidency in 2009 is the same door that he will exit — Parliament and the supreme law of the land, adding that no life should be lost in his name, and the ANC should not be divided in his name as well. As South Africa starts a new era, we hope citizens realise there were no winners or losers just citizens aspiring for a better life.