Politics versus family – are party wishes above family wishes?


Movement for Democratic Change founding president Morgan Tsvangirai has attracted a lot of controversy even in his death.

First it was his burial. His mother, whom some later claimed was not his real mother, categorically stated that she did not want to see Tsvangirai’s wife Elizabeth and his deputy Nelson Chamisa at his funeral.

Elizabeth, though present throughout, played a very low profile. Chamisa, who had assumed leadership of the party even before Tsvangirai’s body had arrived in the country, on the other hand, took centre stage at every occasion.

Fights even broke out at Tsvangirai burial when secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora and then deputy Thokozani Khupe had to flee for their lives.

Now 15 months after his death the party again insists on bulldozing its way at his memorial.

The family had requested that the memorial should not be a partisan affair because Tsvangirai was a national leader and former Prime Minister of the country, so there should be no party regalia.

The MDC says the party is Tsvangirai’s family, so they are free to put on party regalia or not.

Some party supporters have even said the family should keep quiet because the party is funding the memorial, but is this a good reason to trump family wishes?

A memorial in Shona is “nyaradzo”. Is this the way to “nyaradza” the founding president?


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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