Revered Zimbabwean opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai who succumbed to colon cancer on Wednesday has been described by many as a hero and bravest politician of our time.
Tsvangirai, 65, who had been battling cancer since 2016 died at a Johannesburg hospital where he had been receiving treatment.
The acting vice president of his Movement for Democratic Change, Elias Mudzuri, announced his passing on, on Twitter saying: ‘…It is sad for me to announce that we have lost our icon and fighter for democracy…’
Tsvangirai led the MDC since its formation in 1999 and the party has posed the most formidable challenge to Zanu PF.
As an opposition leader and former president Robert Mugabe’s prominent critic, Tsvangirai suffered abuse at the hands of security forces including a police beating which left him critically injured and had to seek medical attention and refuge in Botswana.
In the 2008 polls he won against Mugabe though not with outright majority leading to a run-off election.
He however pulled out of the race in the second round due to violence against his supporters.
And for his steadfast fight against Mugabe, many took to Twitter to pay their tributes, with some suggesting that he should be buried at the National Heroes Acre, a shrine where some iconic liberation war heroes are buried:
David Coltart- I am very sad to hear that Morgan Tsvangirai has lost his brave final battle. He will remain one of the giants of the long struggle to bring democracy to Zimbabwe. I will remember him for his courage, humility, humour and relentless determination to bring freedom to Zim.
Brezh Malaba- Morgan Tsvangirai defeated one of the most evil dictatorship on the face of the planet but they denied him power. He was a brave democrat, a genuine leader, the president we never had.
Pastor Mawarire- Morgan Tsvangirai, a doyen of democracy and justice in our time. Thank you for making it possible for people like me to find courage to say Enough is Enough. Zimbabwe owes you a great debt.
Shingi Munyenza- The bravest of all politicians of our time has passed on. Morgan Tsvangirai you fought a good fight. You are one of our generational heroes. Our prayers are with the entire family
Sure Kamhunga- The only opposition party leader who was brave despite mortal danger and brutality and beatings and jail to take Robert Mugabe regime head on.
Zane-Ely- MT went toe to teo with the much feared Zanu PF to the point of Zanu compromising leading to the formation of the GNU. The red movement will rise and emerge stronger from this massive setback
Fadzie Linel Mutemi- I am in awe of his bravery, he dared and sparked hope. We will never forget. A legend
Sukoluhle Nyathi- If there is anyone who deserves a place at the Heroes Acre, its Morgan Tsvangirai. He made history and we should never forget the instrumental role he played in politics.
Nyaradzayi Gumbonzva- He gave his best for this country. You will always have a place in the history of this country. Rest in peace Morgan
Sam Zikomo- We will honour him by finishing the good fight he started. Zanu PF must fall