No hero status for Tsvangirai… Mnangagwa offers state-assisted funeral - reports

2018-02-17 07:10
Morgan Tsvangirai (File: AFP)

Morgan Tsvangirai (File: AFP)

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Harare – Zimbabwe's opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, who died on Wednesday after battling colon cancer, has been accorded a state-assisted funeral, but not the country's highest honour of a national hero, says a report.

According to NewsDay, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said his government was assisting the Tsvangirai's family in making arrangement to repatriate his body from South Africa.

"I have discussed with my colleagues what honour we are going to give him. We gave him state assisted funeral. Everything will be taken care of by the state," Mnangagwa was quoted as saying.

A state funeral was equivalent to a provincial hero status.

Mnangagwa's remarks came following public calls to accord Tsvangirai a national hero status.

According to New, the Movement for Democratic Change spokesperson, Obert Gutu said that denying the ex-trade unionist the national hero status did not invalidate his contribution to democracy in Zimbabwe.

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"Morgan Tsvangirai, by his deeds, is a national hero. All right thinking Zimbabweans know and appreciated the fact that Tsvangirai was a resolute, consistent, selfless and passionate fighter for peaceful democratic change in Zimbabwe. He is an icon even if Zanu-PF government has not declared him a national hero. We all know that he is a national hero. That is all that matters," Gutu was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile the state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) said that Tsvangirai's body was set to arrive in Harare from South Africa on Saturday aboard an Air Zimbabwe plane. 

"The body will then lie in state at the Tsvangirai family residence at Number 49 Kew Drive in Highlands, Harare. On Sunday, the body will be taken to the Robert Mugabe Square for a public farewell," the report said.

Tsvangirai's body would then be be taken to Humanikwa Village in Buhera where he will be buried next to his first wife Susan Tsvangirai.

Read more on:    zanu-pf  |  mdc-t  |  emmerson mnangagwa  |  morgan ­tsvangirai  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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