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Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (L, front) congratulates new Minister of Defeance Emmerson Mnangagwa (R, Up) as Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe (Down, C) looks on at the State House in Harare on February 13, 2009. The defence portfolio went to Mnangagwa, seen as the president's right hand, who earned notoriety as the head of state security in the 1980s, when a North Korean-trained army brigade allegedly massacred up to 20,000 suspected dissidents from the minority Ndebele people. His swearing in along with other members of the cabinet in a new national unity government came shortly after fellow ministerial candidate Roy Bennett was arrested. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER JOE (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images)

President Mnangagwa Mourns Tsvangirai

President Mnangagwa has sent a condolence message to the Tsvangirai family following the death of veteran opposition leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai last night. The MDC-T leader died at a South African hospital after a long battle with cancer of the colon.

In a statement this morning, President Mnangagwa said Mr Tsvangirai remained a national figure who would be remembered for his strong fight for free and fair elections.

“On behalf of the ruling Zanu-PF party, Government, our nation, and that of my family, I wish to express deepest condolences to the Tsvangirai family on the sad passing yesterday of Morgan Richard Tsvangirai, the former Prime Minister of Zimbabwe and leader of the opposition MDC-T party,” he said.

“A strong trade unionist and opposition leader, the late Tsvangirai will be remembered especially for his readiness to stretch and reach out across the political divide for a Government of a National Unity after the polarising 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.”

President Mnangagwa continued: “Whatever other controversial decisions he and his MDC-T party may have made in the past, we all remember him for his insistence on free, fair, and peaceful elections which we must validate in the forth-coming 2018 harmonised elections in tribute to him and to our democracy.

“This we owe him as political leaders of all contesting parties in our country which deserves unfettered peace and stability. As part of building political consensus in the country ahead of the harmonised elections, I shall soon be inviting leaders of all political parties for a day-long consultative meeting.” Indeed, the ethic overarching collaboration above fair and peaceful contestation must be cultivated and entrenched into our national politics for all times.”

President Mnangagwa said consultations were already underway between Government and the Tsvangirai family to determine what the State could do to ensure a befitting send-off for Mr Tsvangirai.

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