President Emmerson Mnangagwa today said the best way to honour Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who died in Johannesburg yesterday, is to hold free, fair, and credible elections because that was what he fought for.
In his condolence message, Mnangagwa said consultations are underway in the government and with the Tsvangirai family to determine what else the government needs to do to accord the late departed befitting honour.
“As we join the Tsvangirai family in mourning their dear departed, we pray that the whole family remains united to give the deceased a dignified send-off,” Mnangagwa said.
There were reports that the family had barred his current wife Elizabeth from seeing him but one of Tsvangirai’s brothers said it was Tsvangirai himself who had stopped her from seeing him.
Mnangagwa said: “I wish to express deepest condolences to the Tsvangirai family on the sad passing yesterday evening of Morgan Richard Tsvangirai, the former Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, and leader of the opposition MDC-T party.
“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 National Unity after the polarizing 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.
“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 Harmonized Elections, I shall soon be inviting leaders of all political parties for a day-long consultative meeting.
“Indeed the ethic of overarching collaboration above fair and peaceful political contestation must be cultivated and entrenched into our national politics for all times.”