Morgan Tsvangirai, the Movement for Democratic Change leader and former Prime Minister of Zimbabwe has died.
He was 65 (Born on March 10, 1952).
Tsvangirai, who was the face of the country’s opposition politics since 1999, has been battling colon cancer. He was being treated at the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre in South Africa.
MDC-T acting president Elias Mudzuri confirmed the death through his Twitter account.
“As you are aware that our MDC T President, Dr Morgan Richard Tsvangirai has not been feeling well for some time, it is sad for me to announce that we have lost our icon and fighter for democracy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, the party and the nation at this hour.”
Tsvangirai rose from the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union to unite people around a political party, which would break Zanu PF’s hold on the country. His peak as the face of opposition in a country which was battling economic recession came when he defeated former President Robert Mugabe in 2008 but not enough to be declared the outright winner. After losing a hotly disputed run-off thereafter, Tsvangirai through mediation from SADC entered into a Government of national unity with Mugabe where he went on to become Prime Minister.
However since the time of the GNU, Tsvangirai had been facing calls to pass on the leadership of MDC-T with the calls growing louder when the party suffered defeat in the 2013 polls. Since then the party has been out-of-sorts and now with his death, the fights are expected to escalate over who will be in charge.
In recent days, both Mudzuri and Nelson Chamisa have claimed to hold the leadership in an acting capacity while Thokozani Khupe remains the only elected vice president and natural successor.