Morgan Tsvangirai

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Morgan 'Chematama' Tsvangirai
Morgan Tsvangirai, MDC-T
Morgan Tsvangirai
BornMorgan Richard Tsvangirai
(1952-03-10)March 10, 1952
Gutu, Masvingo Province
DiedFebruary 14, 2018(2018-02-14) (aged 65)
Johannesburg, South Africa
Cause of deathColon Cancer
Resting placeBuhera
Other namesRichard
EducationSilveira Mission, Gokomere High School, St Marks Goneso Primary School
Alma materHarvard University
  • Politician
  • Trade Unionist
Years active1987 to 2018
Known forFormer Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Founding President of the Movement for Democratic Change
Home townBuhera
Political partyMovement for Democratic Change(founding member)
Opponent(s)Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front
Spouse(s)Susan Tsvangirai, Elizabeth Macheka
ChildrenEdwin Tsvangirai, Vimbai Tsvangirai, Garikai Tsvangirai, Millicent Tsvangirai, Vincent Tsvangirai, Rumbidzai Tsvangirai
Parent(s)Chibwe Tsvangirai and Lydia Tsvangirai
  • 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 was a Zimbabwean politician and leader of the Movement for Democratic Change party and Trade Unionist. He was Prime Minister of Zimbabwe during the Government of National Unity era from 2008 and 2013.

Personal Details

Death: 14 February 2018 at a hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa where he was getting treatment for colon cancer. He was buried on 20 February 2018.

School / Education

Primary:St. Marks Goneso Primary School Hwedza, and transferred to Chikara Primary School Gutu, then Silveira Mission. Secondary: Gokomere High School. He left school at the age of 16 to become a textile weaver to support his family. [1]


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 to improve the lives of the workers and this 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 Unions Secretary-General.
The government's canceling of two tax bills made him popular and helped him to found the MDC with others in 1999. Tsvangirai entered mainstream politics on 26 February 1999 when the MDC 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 deputized by Gibson Sibanda a fellow trade unionist with the ZCTU.

In the 2000 Elections, (see A History of Zimbabwean Elections) Buhera North returned to Parliament:

Tsvangirai 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 then entered into a Government of National Unity with former president Robert Mugabe.


Trials and Arrests

Tsvangirai was 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 was charged with treason for more than three times since 2002 where a mysterious video emerged which allegedly showed how to assassinate Robert Mugabe. In 2003 he was also charged with treason after calling for mass protests to oust the then president Robert Mugabe. In 2007 he was brutally assaulted by the police for allegedly taking part in an 'illegal' prayer meeting.[2]

Fatal Accident and the Death of Susan

The accident which claimed Tsvangirai's first wife Susan occurred along the Harare-Masvingo highway on 6 March 2009. The accident occurred when their official vehicle collided head-on with a lorry. Susan died on the spot and Tsvangirai sustained injuries. [3]

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 deputized by Thokozani Khupe and Mutambara. Tsvangirai was credited for his role in stabilizing the political landscape of the country by agreeing to this compromise. This was also coupled by a relatively stable economic environment which characterized the GNU period.

Factionalism Challenges

Since the beginning of his political career, Tsvangirai was faced with challenges of internal opposition from his 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 Arthur 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.

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."

[4] 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."


However Tsvangirai was unable to attend a demonstration in Mutare as he was scheduled to undergo a routine medical review. [6]

On 27 June 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"

In September 2017, Tsvangirai was flown to South Africa after his health drastically deteriorated as he was attending an MDC Alliance strategic meeting in Kadoma on 7 September 2017. [7] His spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said Tsvangirai would stay in South Africa for longer than expected and would not not immediately resume party duties when he returned.[8]

Emmerson Mnangagwa Visit

The President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his vice president Constantino Chiwenga visited Tsvangirai at his home in early January 2018. Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa revealed that former Prime Minister and MDC Alliance leader Morgan Tsvangirai was to get a gratuity, medical cover, and the Highlands house as per agreed on the visit. Chinamasa said

When the President visited the former Prime Minister, he made assurances to him that he was going to address issues of welfare concerning him. Some of the undertakings that were made by the President to the former Prime Minister were to do with the ownership of the house which currently forms his residence and that an arrangement will be made to transfer ownership of that house to the former Prime Minister. There was also an undertaking made by the President to meet all the medical bills and arrears bills that had accumulated with respect to addressing the medical condition of the former Prime Minister. The President also promised him that he would look into the issue about his welfare. Having considered the issue, he came to the conclusion and he has asked me to convey this to this Chamber that he will make a generous lump sum, gratuity payment to the former Prime Minister. I want us to understand that the President is a man of his word. He will do so as soon as possible.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa visits Morgan Tsvangirai


Moreprecision Muzadzi sued Tsvangirai for $80,000. Muzadzi claimed he was hired to facilitate coalition talks with prospective allies on behalf of MDC-T before the 2013 election to oust Zanu-PF from office for $7 500 plus a Nissan NP200 valued at $22 412. Muzadzi sued Tsvangirai's brother, Manasa Tsvangirai and MDC-T deputy national chairman Morgan Komichi for damages arising from an alleged assault perpetrated on him when he went to Tsvangirai’s house demanding the money he says was owed to him for the failed coalition. Muzadzi claimed $50 000 as damages for the assault. High Court To Hear $80 000 Lawsuit Against Tsvangirai

Death Fake News

An online publication wrote that the MDC-T President had passed on in 2017. Tsvangirai had to write on social platform Twitter to prove he was still alive.

I hear there are morbid malicious rumors circulating that I am dead. Well, this tweet speaks for itself that I am very much alive.

— Morgan Tsvangirai (@mrtsvangirai) January 22, 2017

In January 2018 an audio circulated on social media again and businessman Philip Chiyangwa offered $1 000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a man who created the audio purporting that MDC Alliance leader Morgan Tsvangirai had passed.Chiyangwa Offers $1 000 Reward To Catch Man Who Said Tsvangirai Is Dead Nelson Chamisa ,Tsvangirai's deputy then refuted the allegations confirming that it was fake news. Confirmed: Morgan Tsvangirai is NOT dead


Morgan Tsvangirai died on 14 February 2018 at Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. The news was broken by MDC-T Vice President, Elias Mudzuri who said:

As you are aware that our MDC T President, Dr. Morgan Richard Tsvangirai has not been feeling well for some time, it is sad for me to announce that we have lost our icon and fighter for democracy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, the party and the nation at this hour.

The government offered Tsvangirai's family a state-assisted funeral. The funeral sparked a lot of controversies including his wife Elizabeth Macheka reportedly being denied attendance to the funeral by Tsvangirai's mother, who threatened to commit suicide if Macheka or Chamisa were to set foot at the funeral. The factionalism fights between Mudzuri, Chamisa, and Khupe went on despite their leaders' death. Tsvangirai was survived by his wife Elizabeth Macheka and his children from previous marriage. Popular music artist, Oliver Mtukudzi made a tribute song on Tsvangirai's death.

Oliver Mtukudzi : Tinomuchema. Tribute to Morgan Tsvangirai


In 2001 he was 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]

In 2013 Tsvangirai was conferred with an honorary Doctorate of Public Administration from the University of Sun Moon in South Korea. The University reportedly commended the former trade unionist for pursuing a peaceful and non-violent campaign for democratization.

“I accept this honorary degree as a great honour, not only for myself but for the entirety of the people of Zimbabwe as well,” the MDC leader said. “To be the person that I am today is not simply down to luck or individual effort but it is because of the people around me.

“Without the work and efforts of the people of Zimbabwe, I would not be standing here, awaiting receipt of this prestigious honour. This recognition is, therefore, their award – indeed, our award, and I am a mere agent receiving it on their behalf,”


Tsvangirai Videos

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

Tsvangirai in Pictures

Personal Background

He was born Morgan Richard Tsvangirai on March 10, 1952 in Gutu, Masvingo Province to his parents Chibwe Tsvangirai and Lydia Tsvangirai. Tsvangirai was the eldest in a family of nine. He was married to his wife Susan Tsvangirai who died 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[12] In 2012 Tsvangirai was involved in a relationship with one Leocardia Karimatsenga but the relationship was short-lived. He eventually married Elizabeth Macheka customarily after Karimatsenga sought a court order to stop a legal union of the two. Tsvangirai wedded Macheka in September 2012.

Zimbabwe Tsvangirai wedding


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. [13] In 2011 he divorced his wife of 12 days Locardia Tembo and married Elizabeth Macheka a move which political analysts believed contributed to his defeat in the 31 July 2013, elections. [14]

In August 2017, there were reports that Tsvangirai had impregnated Ms. Nobuhle Marylin Ndiweni from Bulawayo. State-owned media reported that Tsvangirai had impregnated the woman who gave birth to a baby boy at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo in July 2017. However, when contacted for comment, the woman denied being in a relationship with Tsvangirai and giving birth to the former Prime Minister’s child.[15]

However, in 2018 after Tsvangirai's death, it was reported that he had secretly paid lobola for a Bulawayo woman. Tsvangirai Secretly Paid Lobola For Another Woman While Married To Elizabeth. Tsvangirai and Ndiweni were reported to have a child named Joy.


  1. Morgan Tsvangirai Biography, , Published: , Retrieved: 24 November 2017
  2. Joseph Winter Profile: Morgan Tsvangirai, BBC News Online, Published: March 6, 2009, Retrieved: June 27, 2014
  3. , Morgan Tsvangirai survives car crash but wife Susan killed,The Guardian, published6 Mar 2009:,retrieved:13 Feb 2015"
  4. Blessed Mhlanga,Sick Tsvangirai rushed to S Africa, NewsDay, May 20, 2016, retrieved: June 27, 2016
  5. Tsvangirai back from op in SA, NewsDay, published: June 4, 2016, retrieved: June 27, 2016
  6. Obey Manayiti/Kenneth Nyangani,Tsvangirai to miss Mutare protest march, NewsDay, published: June 23, 2016, retrieved: June 27, 2016
  7. Tsvangirai airlifted, battling for life in SA, NewsDay, published: September 8, 2017, retrieved: September 25, 2017
  8. Tsvangirai to stay longer in S. Africa, Herald, published: September 23, 2017, retrieved: September 25, 2017
  9. Morgan Tsvangirai
  10. Morgan Tsvangirai
  11. Tsvangirai conferred with honorary doctorate, , Published: 28 February 2013 , Retrieved: 27 February 2018
  12. Joseph Winter Profile: Morgan Tsvangirai BBC News Online, Published: October 15, 2004, Retrieved: June 27, 2014,
  13. Jason Moyo, MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai caught with his pants down Mail and Guardian, Published: December 2, 2011, Retrieved: June 27, 2014
  14. 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
  15. Tsvangirai in another pregnancy storm, Sunday News, published: August 27, 2017, retrieved: September 25, 2017

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