FULL THREAD: Remembering Morgan Richard Tsvangirai – Debra Wakanaka

Born 10 March 1952 in Buhera area in then Rhodesia, to Karanga father Dzingirai-Chibwe and mother Lydia. He is the eldest of 9 children, and the son of a communal farmer, mine worker, carpenter and bricklayer.

He completed his secondary education at Gokomere with 8 Ordinary levels, in 1972 he landed his first job as a trainee weaver said for Elastics and Tapes textile factory in Mutare. In 1974 an old school mate encouraged Morgan to apply for a job as an apprentice at Bindura’s Nickel.

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He spent ten years at the mine, rising from plant operator to plant supervisor. He married Susan, in 1978. The couple had six children during their 31-year marriage, which ended with her death in the 2009 car crash.

In 1980 he joined the ascendent ZANU–PF party, led by Mugabe, who would later become his biggest political rival. He is reported to have been an ardent Mugabe supporter and to have risen “swiftly in the hierarchy”, eventually becoming one of the party’s senior officials.

In 1989 he became the Secretary-General of the ZCTU in 1999 he founded the MDC, an opposition party opposed to Mugabe. He helped to defeat the Feb 2000 Con Ref successfully campaigning against.

He was arrested after the 2000 elections and charged with treason; this charge was later dismissed. In 2004, he was acquitted of treason for an alleged plot to assassinate Mugabe in the run-up to the 2002 elections. He was represented by George Bizos.

He was also charged After telling his 40 000 supporters at a rally in Harare that if Mr Mugabe did not want to step down before the next elections scheduled for 2002. The courts dismissed the charges.

In 2007 a day after his 55th birthday, He was arrested on his way to a prayer rally in the Harare township of Highfield. His wife was allowed to see him in prison, after which she reported that he had been heavily tortured by police, resulting in deep gashes on his.

March 2007 after being arrested and held at Machipisa Police Using sjamboks, army belts and gun butts, the soldiers attacked Tsvangirai until he passed out. One of the soldiers poured cold water all over Tsvangirai to resuscitate him.

Tsvangirai regained consciousness again at around 1:30 am One vicious woman was left to work on him. She removed an army belt from her waist & used it to assault Tsvangirai until he passed out again.

He was in bad shape, he was swollen very badly. He was bandaged on the head. You couldn’t distinguish between the head and the face and he could not see properly,” Innocent Chagonda, an attorney, told Reuters after visiting a Harare police station where Tsvangirai was being held.

According to lawyer BitiTendai the Secretary-General of the MDC and an MP for Harare East, who was arrested along with Tsvangirai, Tsvangirai suffered a cracked skull and “must have passed out at least three times.” Tsvangirai was subsequently admitted in ICU at a local hospital.

A Zimbabwean freelance cameraman, Edward Chikombo, smuggled television pictures of Tsvangirai’s injuries following the beating. Chikombo was later abducted from his home in Glenview. His body was discovered the next weekend near the village of Darwendale 80km west of Harare.

The Same month after being released on 28 March 2007, Zimbabwean police stormed the Movement for Democratic Change, 44 Harvest House now Tsvangirai House, and once again arrested him, hours before he was to speak with the media about recent political violence in the country.

On 25 October 2007, it was reported that Musekiwa, who was Morgan Tsvangirai’s bodyguard had died from complications resulting from injuries sustained in March 2007, during a crackdown. MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa by then said Musekiwa had been vomiting blood since 11 March.

On 6 June 2008, he was again stopped at a police checkpoint and blocked from attending a pre-election rally at How Mine, near Bulawayo. According to the chairman of MDC by then Lovemore Moyo, the police said they should have informed them in advance of Tsvangirai visiting the area.

In September 2007, it was widely reported that Tsvangirai met Thabo Mbeki, the former President of South Africa for crucial talks on how to speed up talks between the ruling ZANU PF and the Movement for Democratic Change party.

On 22 June 2008, Tsvangirai announced at a press conference that he was withdrawing from the run-off, describing it as a “violent sham” and saying that his supporters risked being killed. He vowed that the MDC would ultimately prevail and that its victory could “only be delayed.

On 22 July 2008, Tsvangirai and Mutambara met Mugabe face-to-face and shook hands with him for the first time in over a decade for negotiations orchestrated by Mbeki, aiming for a settlement of electoral disputes that would share power between MDC and the ZANU at the executive level.

On 11 February 2009 Tsvangirai was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe. In June, Morgan Tsvangirai met BarackObama.

During a visit to South Korea in May 2010, Tsvangirai was conferred with an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws by Pai Chai University, becoming the 13th recipient of an honorary degree in the 125-year history of this United Methodist Church institution.

In June 2016 Tsvangirai had announced that he had been diagnosed with cancer and was undergoing treatment. Over the following years the condition of his health declined and on 6 February 2018, it was announced that he was critically ill. Zorora Murugare Gamba re Zimbabwe.

More: Debra Wakanaka on Twitter


Karanga is a dialect of the Shona language spoke in Zimbabwe, mostly in the Masvingo Province. Read More About Karanga

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