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Tsvangirai to get state assisted funeral

DECEASED: Tsvangirai

The late Zimbabwean opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, will get a state assisted funeral.

According to Zimbabwe’s state run Herald, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the government would assist in every possible way to ensure a dignified send off for Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai died in South Africa Wednesday night after a long battle with colon cancer. He was 65.

There had been calls for the late veteran opposition figure to be declared a national hero and be buried at the national shrine alongside liberation war stalwarts.

He will however likely be buried at his rural home in Buhera, east of Harare.

Meanwhile, earlier on Mnagangwa paid tribute to Tsvangirai saying he remained a national figure who will be remembered for his fight for free and fair elections.

“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 a National Unity after the polarising 2008 elections. 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,”said Mngangangwa in a statement today (Thursday).

Vice president, retired General Costantino Chiwenga, described the late Tsvangirai as a true son of the soil.

“We are saddened by the death of MT, we will sit and see how Zimbabweans can honour that great son of the soil,” he said on Twitter.

The European Union also paid tribute to Tsvangirai saying he will be missed by the world for the pro-democracy principles he stood for during his life time.

“He will be remembered as a great trade unionist and a courageous man who as president of the MDC since its foundation in 1999 stoop up for multi-party democracy and justice,” read a statement from the EU.

British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs said Tsvangirai represented courage and determination in the face of oppression, and gave ordinary Zimbabweans faith to believe in the future.

“He was one of the bravest political leaders of his time and will be sadly missed,” he said on Twitter.