Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is dead


An election official holds a ballot paper shows Robert Mugabe and Tsvangirai in Harare Zimbabwe in June 2008

Arguably Zimbabwe's most popular politician, the mining union leader's career was ultimately defined by his tussles - bother literal and figurative - with 93-year-old Mugabe, who resigned after a de facto coup in December.

On Feb.6, it was announced that Tsvangirai was critically ill in hospital in South Africa.

Before leaving for South Africa where he eventually succumbed to colon cancer, Tsvangirai had appointed Mudzuri as acting party president and Chamisa as his representative in the opposition coalition MDC Alliance.

Morgan Tsvangirai is a former prime minister and Robert Mugabe's nemesis.

National Super Alliance (NASA) leader and Kenya's opposition chief, Raila Odinga, has paid emotional tribute to his fallen friend Morgan Tsvangirai.

The following year he defeated Mugabe in the first round of general elections, barely missing the majority vote required to be declared the ultimate victor.

Tsvangirai led the MDC since its formation in 1999 and the party has posed the most formidable challenge to Zanu PF.

"In 2013, we don't know what hit us", Tsvangirai said last year, finally conceding that he had been beaten in the polls that year.

"The reason why he (Mudzuri) is not here can best be answered by him, but he was aware of this meeting".

#ThisFlag leader Pastor Evan Mawarire tweeted; "Morgan Tsvangirai, A doyen of democracy and justice in our time". So we had to step in quickly to deal with the leadership crisis. He withdrew from the second vote, citing the deaths of about 200 MDC supporters and activists, a move that plunged the country into political crisis. He will remain one of the giants of the long struggle to bring democracy to Zimbabwe. The family was poor, and Tsvangirai abandoned formal schooling early to start work, first as a textile weaver and then as a plant foreman in a nickel mine.

In 1998, Tsvangirai became chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly, a position largely seen as recognition for his leadership.

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