US mourns Zimbabwe ‘national hero’ Tsvangirai

The US has expressed condolences on the passing of Zimbabwe veteran politician Morgan Richard Tsvangirai describing him as a national hero and political icon.

“Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to his family and to all the people of Zimbabwe,” the US State Department said in a statement on its website on Thursday.

“We join Zimbabweans from across the country in mourning the passing of a national hero and political icon who fearlessly stood against injustice and tirelessly fought for peace and democratic principles. We salute his relentless struggle and great personal sacrifices for the equitable treatment of all Zimbabweans, and his insistence that every voice in Zimbabwe share the right to be heard,” the US statement said.

It expressed the hope that “his spirit of compromise for the good of the country and his determination will help carry Zimbabwe forward to a brighter future”.

Tsvangirai, 65, died in South Africa on Wednesday, 14 February 2018. Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has also eulogised him saying he will be remembered for his insistence on free, fair, credible and peaceful elections.

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 National Unity after the polarizing 2008 elections.”

In a message of condolence to the Tsvangirai family, President Mnangagwa wrote: “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 said consultations were underway in Government and with the family to determine what else Government needed to do to accord the late departed befitting honour.