Morgan Tsvangirai

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Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Tsvangirai, MDC-T
Morgan Tsvangirai
Born Morgan Richard Tsvangirai
(1952-03-10) March 10, 1952 (age 64)
Gutu, Masvingo Province
Residence Zimbabwe
Nationality Zimbabwean
Other names Richard
Citizenship Zimbabwean
Education Gokomere High School, St Marks Goneso Primary School
Occupation
  • Politician
  • Trade Unionist
Years active 1987 to present
Employer Movement for Democratic Change
Known for Former Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, President of the MDC-T Party
Home town Buhera
Political party
Movement for Democratic Change
Movement Democrat
Opponent(s) Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front
Religion Chistian
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Macheka
Children Edwin Tsvangirai, Vimbai Tsvangirai, Garikai Tsvangirai, Millicent Tsvangirai, Vincent Tsvangirai, Rumbidzai Tsvangirai
Parents Chibwe Tsvangirai and Lydia Tsvangirai
Awards
  • Solida Silver Rose Award for Outstanding Achievement in Civil Society Activities (2001)
  • Human Rights Award for upholding Human Rights (2009)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award - Spanish Foundation Cristobal Gabarron(2009)
  • Honorary Doctorate degree in Public Administration - Sun Moon University of South Korea(2013)

Morgan Tsvangirai is a Zimbabwean born trade unionist and politician; former prime minister and president of the Movement for Democratic Change party. He was prime minister of Zimbabwe during the Government of National Unity era between 2008 and 2013. Tsvangirai is also known for having led the country's trade union umbrella body, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions up to 2000 when he became president his party.

Background

He was born Morgan Richard Tsvangirai on March 10, 1952 in Gutu, Masvingo Province. Born to a bricklayer father, Chibwe Tsvangirai and mother Lydia Tsvangirai, Tsvangirai is the eldest in a family of nine. He was married to his wife Susan Tsvangirai who perished in a road accident in 2008. The couple had six children together and these are; Edwin Tsvangirai, Vimbai Tsvangirai, Garikai Tsvangirai, Millicent Tsvangirai, Vincent Tsvangirai, and Rumbidzai Tsvangirai[1] In 2012 Tsvangirai was invloved in a relationship with one Leocardia Karimatsenga but the relationship was short-lived. He evententually married Elizabeth Macheka customarily after Karimatsenga sought a court order to stop a legal union of theb two.

Educational Background

He did his primary education at St. Marks Goneso Primary School Hwedza, and transferred by his father to Chikara Primary School Gutu then he went to Silveira Mission. He did his secondary education at Gokomere High School. He left school at the age of 16 to become a textile weaver to support his lowly and extended family. Often called a 'tea boy' because of his educational background.

Political career

The political career of Morgan Tsvangirai can be understood in various historical phases. Morgan Tsvangirai's political career began with his election as the Secretary General of the national trade unions umbrella body. During this period, the movement criticised the government's failure o improve the lives of the workers and this put placed Tsvangirai on the political limelight. Tsvangirai had earlier on joined active politics in the 1987 and 1989 after leading a series of strikes against the ZANU-PF government's tax increases when he was the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union Secretary General.
The government's cancelling of two tax bills made him popular and helped him to found the MDC with others in 1999. He became the first man to defeat Robert Mugabe in an election since 1980 after winning the 2008 Presidential election. He garnered 47,8% against Mugabe's 43,2%. Tsvangirai entered mainstream politics on the 26th of February in 1999 when the MDC party began to make its impact in the local political landscape. The party was officially launched in September 1999 at Rufaro Stadium in Harare and Morgan Tsvangirai emerged as the endorsed leader of the party. Tsvangirai was deputised by Gibson Sibanda a fellow trade unionist with the ZCTU.

Government of National Unity 2008-2013

After the controversial elections of 2007 which failed to produce an outright winner, Morgan Tsvangirai leading the MDC entered into a power-sharing agreement with Robert Mugabe of ZANU-PF and Arthur Mutambara of the MDC M formation. The power-sharing deal which came to be known as the Government of National Unity was brokered by the South African president Thambo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma respectively. The arrangement resulted in Tsvangirai assuming the office of the prime minister deputised by Thokozani Khupe and Mutambara. Tsvangirai was credited for his role in stabilising the political landscape of the country by agreeing to this compromise. This was also coupled by a relatively stable economic environment which characterised the GNU period.

Tsvangirai in Pictures

Factionalism Challenges

Since the beginning of his political career, Tsvangirai was faced with challenges of internal opposition from hi party. In 2005, Tsvangirai chose not to contest the controversial senatorial elections and this resulted in internal opposition. The opposing faction was led by his deputy Mutambara who participated in the elections together with some members. They eventually formed their own party. In 2010, another break-up occurred when Job Sikhala pulled out to form his party MDC-99. In 2013 soon after the elections, Tsvangirai was criticised by his then Secretary General Tendai Biti for lack of a sound ideology in the previous elections. This resulted in Biti being demoted from his office and he subsequently left to form his party called MDC Renewal Team.

Fatal Accident and the Death of Susan

The accident which claimed Tsvangirai's first wife Susan occurred along the Harare-Masvingo highway on the 6th of March 2009. The accident occurred when their official vehicle collided head-on with a lorry. Susan died on the spot and Tsvangirai sustained injuries.[2]

Trials and Arrests

Tsvangirai was once arrested and detained by the Zimbabwe Republic Police in 1989 on allegations of spying to the South African apartheid government. He was detained for six weeks. He has been charged for treason more than three times since 2002 were a mysterious video emerged which allegedly showed discussing how to assassinate Mugabe.In 2003 he was also charged for treason after calling for mass protests to oust Mugabe.2007 was dark patch for him as he was brutally assaulted by the police for allegedly taking park in an 'illegal' prayer meeting.[3]

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Sex Sandals

Since the death of his wife Susan, Tsvangirai has been involved in numerous scandals allegedly impregnating young girls like 23 year old Loretta Nyathi of Bulawayo in 2013.[4] In 2011 he divorced his wife of 12 days Leocardia Tembo and married Elizabeth Macheka a move which political analysts believe contributed to his defeat in the July 31, 2013 elections.[5]

Health Problems

In May 2016 there were reports that Tsvangirai had been rushed to South Africa for treatment over an undisclosed ailment. MDC-T secretary-general, Douglas Mwonzora, confirmed that Tsvangirai had been flown out early that week
,“Tsvangirai was taken ill. On the advice of doctors, he had to travel to South Africa for treatment. Yesterday (Wednesday) he successfully underwent a medical procedure and is recuperating well in South Africa."
[6] In early June 2016 there were reports that Tsvangirai had returned home from South Africa where he was recuperating after undergoing an undisclosed medical procedure. MDC-T spokesman Obert Gutu confirmed the development and said
,"President Tsvangirai is jetting into Harare today . . . fit and strong, ready to lead from the front, as usual."
[7]

However Tsvangirai was unable to attend a demonstration in Mutare as he was scheduled to undergo a routine medical review.[8]

On June 27 2016 Tsvangirai disclosed to the media that he had cancer of the colon and was undergoing treatment in South Africa. Tsvangirai confirmed that, doctors in both Zimbabwe and South Africa, had conducted tests and confirmed he had cancer,
“On May 8, 2016, my Zimbabwean doctors referred me to South Africa, where a further diagnosis revealed that I am suffering from cancer of the colon"

Awards

In 2001 he as awarded the Solida Silver Rose Award for outstanding achievement in civil society activities.[9] In October 2009 He was given the Human Rights award in Spain for his stance to advance the human rights cause in Zimbabwe. In the same year the Spanish Foundation Cristobal Gabarron gave him a Lifetime Achievement Award for his fight for peace and democracy.[10] Tsvangirai was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in Public Administration by Sun Moon University of South Korea in February 2013.

Tsvangirai Videos

Tsvangirai on Nehanda Television
Tsvangirai Addressing a Rally in Gweru
Tsvangirai Press Conference in the United Kingdom
Tsvangirai Press Conference about Elections in 2013
Eddie Arruza interviews: Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai-Part I

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References

  1. Joseph Winter Profile: Morgan Tsvangirai BBC News Online, Published: October 15, 2004, Retrieved: June 27, 2014
  2. , Morgan Tsvangirai survives car crash but wife Susan killed,The Guardian, published6 Mar 2009:,retrieved:13 Feb 2015"
  3. Joseph Winter Profile: Morgan Tsvangirai, BBC News Online, Published: March 6, 2009, Retrieved: June 27, 2014
  4. Jason Moyo, MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai caught with his pants down Mail and Guardian, Published: December 2, 2011, Retrieved: June 27, 2014
  5. Zimbabwe's prime minister divorces wife after just 12 DAYS... and blames 'plot' by Mugabe's secret agents Published: December 2, 2011, Retrieved: June 27, 2014
  6. Blessed Mhlanga,Sick Tsvangirai rushed to S Africa, NewsDay, May 20, 2016, retrieved: June 27, 2016
  7. Tsvangirai back from op in SA, NewsDay, published: June 4, 2016, retrieved: June 27, 2016
  8. Obey Manayiti/Kenneth Nyangani,Tsvangirai to miss Mutare protest march, NewsDay, published: June 23, 2016, retrieved: June 27, 2016
  9. Morgan Tsvangirai
  10. Morgan Tsvangirai