Mnangagwa says fair elections a 'tribute' to Tsvangirai

Nelson Chamisa

Zimbabwe's president on Sunday praised opposition icon Morgan Tsvangirai who died last week as an outstanding political figure who had endured political hardship and deserved his place in the country's history.

"Let us all be united, let us be brothers and sisters and come together and mourn our former prime minister with that spirit".

A public funeral ceremony was held Monday for the late Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai who died in South Africa last week after a long battle with cancer. Tsvangirai had been the MDC-T's only leader since its formation in 1999. It is not easy for us, it is a very hard time for us.

Some party members are disputing Chamisa's appointment, saying Mudzuri, who was acting leader for a while as Tsvangirai underwent treatment, or Khupe is the MDC-T's acting leader or rightful heir.

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The MDC once posed a formidable challenge to ZANU-PF, even winning the first round of a presidential election in 2008 vote. Mugabe, who led Zimbabwe for 37 years, made a dramatic resignation in November after the military moved in and inspired the ruling party to turn against him. "We need fair, free and credible elections this year".

Mnangagwa told journalists that Tsvangirai wanted to ensure that Zimbabwe was a democratic state.

The longtime opponent of former president Robert Mugabe will be buried Tuesday in Buhera, his rural home about 250 kilometers (155 miles) south of Harare.

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