The late former Prime Minister, Dr. Morgan Richard Tsvangirai, who succumbed to colon cancer last Wednesday has been described a human rights champion and pathfinder.
Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) Director, Okay Machisa, was among the few civil society organisations that gave solidarity speeches at the mass funeral held at Freedom Square in Harare.
Said Machisa: “He had a vision for human rights promotion and we will continue with his vision. ZimRights is one of the many organisations that Tsvangirai founded to promote democracy and human rights.”
The former trade unionist, Tsvangirai was also a civil society leader of note before he founded the major opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
The mass rally, where his body was brought in a hearse, was also graced by opposition leaders and trade unionists from Namibia and Zambia, who uniformly described the two-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee as a dedicated people’s leader and visionary.
Tsvangirai whose body was flown in a military helicopter this afternoon from One Commando Barracks to his rural home of Humanikwa in Buhera will be interred tomorrow afternoon.
Despite being a work day, scores of people wearing the trademark red colour of his party gathered to pay their last respects.
Acting MDC President, Nelson Chamisa, called for the elections due mid-year to be free and fair as an honour to Tsvangirai’s commitment to multiparty democracy, inclusivity, human rights and good governance.
“Tsvangirai is a people’s hero,” declared Chamisa, amid rapturous applause and cheers from the several thousand-strong crowd, even though the government has refused to officially give him the status.
The new leader counted among Tsvangirai’s achievements the writing of a new democratic constitution in 2013.
His burial will conclude a week of outpouring grief and condolences triggered by his death, as well as vigils celebrating his life and leadership.