Tsvangirai attends Mandela send-off

HARARE - Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday joined over 4 500 guests at Nelson Mandela’s ancestral home of Qunu for the a final farewell to the man who united South Africa when it teetered on the edge of bloody conflict.

Cyril Ramaphosa, deputy leader of the ruling African National Congress and one of the masters of ceremonies, introduced Tsvangirai as “His Excellency, the former Prime Minister of Zimbabwe.”

President Robert Mugabe, who attended Tuesday’s memorial service at the FNB Stadium in Soweto where he received a standing ovation, did not attend the burial yesterday ostensibly because he was wrapping up his party’s 14th annual conference in Chinhoyi, about 100km west of the capital, Harare.

Tsvangirai yesterday took to social media.

“In Qunu sending off a great son of Africa,” Tsvangirai posted on his Facebook page. His spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka told the Daily News: “Its better to be in Qunu than in Chinhoyi.”

Mandela, who died in Johannesburg on December 5, was imprisoned for 27 years for opposing apartheid and emerged to forge a new democratic South Africa by promoting forgiveness and reconciliation.

On Monday, Tsvangirai signed a book of condolences for Mandela in Harare at the residence of South African ambassador. In his condolence message, Tsvangirai said Mandela had exceptional qualities.

“We in the MDC feel a great void and were are greatly aggrieved at the sad and tragic loss of this icon,” he said. “I met him once and we had a frank exchange on the situation in Zimbabwe.

“He told me that the country had taken a wrong turn and that President Mugabe had led the nation to the brink of political and economic turmoil and that he would personally do all he could to persuade the Zimbabwean leadership to see sense.”

Vusi Mavimbela, South Africa’s envoy to Zimbabwe, told memorial of the liberation icon in Harare that Mandela has become the subject of global scrutiny by the world, a world that is in search of an assuring and elevated human enterprise.

“This is the world that is facing huge challenges in upholding democracy and good governance, a world infected by greed and corruption, a world torn apart by terrorism and civil wars and a world populated by millions of refugees and decimated by famine and a world that is hamstrung by the paucity and mediocrity of leadership”, Mavimbela said.

“It is equally true that the world is also searching for human weaknesses that made Mandela a human being. Mandela is the first to admit that he was neither a saint nor a demi-god. He would be the first one to admit that he committed his mistakes like all of us.

“As Mandela would proclaim, he hopes that his mistakes would be a lesson to others so that from those lessons humanity can come out wiser.”

Comments (26)

His Excellency the former Prime Minister of Zimbabwe!!!!!!!!! Save ndizvo!!!!!!!!! Chinja iwe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Maitiro iweeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kachembere kekwaChivi - 16 December 2013

It baffles me how/why tsvangirai doesn't attend burials of the country's heroes and chooses to attend mandela's burial and or sithole's memorial. shame sitereki.

elisha - 16 December 2013

It baffles me how/why tsvangirai doesn't attend burials of the country's heroes and chooses to attend mandela's burial and or sithole's memorial. shame sitereki.

elisha - 16 December 2013

@ elisha better you keep on being baffled... shame steriki on you

kedzaify - 16 December 2013

Elisha , you seem to be a very young boy who does not know what is happening in Zimbabwe.

chivadye - 16 December 2013

It baffles me how/why tsvangirai doesn't attend burials of the country's heroes and chooses to attend mandela's burial and or sithole's memorial. shame sitereki.

elisha - 16 December 2013

It baffles me how/why tsvangirai doesn't attend burials of the country's heroes and chooses to attend mandela's burial and or sithole's memorial. shame sitereki.

elisha - 16 December 2013

@Elisha. Some of the local heroes are unknown outside ZANU PF circles. For instance, the first time I heard of Gwanzura was when ZANU PF declared him a hero. Only mad people would attend the funeral of someone whose life they have never heard of.

Durban Bingudza - 16 December 2013

Elisha you attend a burial which is scornful? Inini chero pa mai vangu vanhu vachitukana handisviki. Tsvangirayi anotukwa pamarufu woda kuti aende ikoko unopenga here Elisha?

Maita Manyuka - 16 December 2013

Burials at heroes acre besides being controversial and partisan have ceased to be heroic. They have become platforms to critique dissenting voices from the opposition and virtually an assault on democracy and human conscience, and a ideological justification of what people always vote out of their lives, but get 'nikuved' backed to them by force

XX - 16 December 2013

Tsvangirai has freedom of assiciation and decides where he wants to and with whom. Kuenda kurufu hakumanikidzwe.

John Banda - 16 December 2013

Elisha uri sure yemunhu, mhata chaiyo, unofunga nekaburi. Iwe pawakati mhaa ipapo ungashanya kumba kwaunoziva kuti unonoiswa sure yako. Ukwane, usiyane natsvangirayi. kana washaya zvekunyora enda unoiswa sure nehama dzako dzezanu. Idiot

Inini - 16 December 2013

That burial was meant for the Mandela family and villagers, it was no longer meant for vip and vvip, so tumborinyoka's stament that it's beter to be in Qunu than Chinhoyi is idiotic and from a desperate has been. Tsvancry is just now a mere ordinary villager and it befits him to attend such funeral. Maybe he also enjoyed umqomboti which was being served to his fellow villagers.

reason - 16 December 2013

Elisha, a big idiot. Unongorivo mutamburi iwe

Decided - 16 December 2013

munoda kuti Tsvngirai auye kuHEROES acre kuti mugomutuka aripo here.. vigai mega maHero enyu

maestro - 16 December 2013

President Tsvangirai is the man of the moment. Zhanu maggots envy him coz they know he has the most DEMOCRATIC support in Zimbabwe unlike Zhanu which derives its support from Nikuv. #CHINJAmaitiroMaitiroCHINJA

Mudhiniwe - 16 December 2013

Zhanu PFsychomotor you belong to the "small house"!!!!!

Mudhiniwe - 16 December 2013

Mandela was not buried at the Heroes Acre, was he?

Mike Hove - 16 December 2013

kumusha ndizvo for burial varume paHeros apa aiwa iyi ndatenda hangu

takurira nhamo - 16 December 2013

is this newsworthy? Tsvangirai who? Anonzi Tsvangirai wacho ndiani ? anoita zvechii ?

Mbatatisi - 17 December 2013

Tinotenda Save for representing Zimbabwe apo Baba Mandela vakatsvetwa panzvimbo yokuzororera. Ndiyo wisdom iyoyo.

D.Chikanga - 17 December 2013

ZANU PF is in denial about the importance of Tsvangirayi to the Zimbabwean political landscape. The former PM holds the keys to the revival of Zimbabwe's diminishing economic fortunes. Look at Odinga and Kenyatta in Kenya, addressing a press conference together after the terrorist attack. Belittling the PM is primitive and a sign of insecurity and lack of self belief. Leave the PM alone. The more you insult him, the more we love him. What came out of Chinhoyi which is of substance - nil, so the PM was better off being in Qunu, where his presence was acknowleged and respect was accorded to him.

chipolopolo - 17 December 2013

Well said "chipolopolo"! It's is better to be where you are welcome that where you are scorned! The Madiba funeral has taught us a lesseon from our neigbors, they even respectifully acknowledged the presents of other political parties and their leaders. Mugabe doesn't do that without belittling you. I never heard any insult to Malema or any other political parties, even towards whites. We need to learn from our neighbours and Tsvangirai was at the right place. Yes he was a villager there at Qunu, so was Kenneth Kaunda, Joyce Banda, Jakaya kikwete to name but a few! It was better to be a villager and learn at Qunu than being a scorned opposition leader at the Zanu heroes acre!

Shebba - 17 December 2013

UPI Mugabe ane moyo wechikadzi. ndoosaka achiroya nekuteerera makuhwa. Murume wekwaani anoaddressser vanhu achitaura speech yemakuhwa chete. Waiting for you to go. Save be ready you will rule Zim

bhunu - 17 December 2013

The idea of Heroes Acres is Communist and is associated with authoritarian regimes. Gukurawundi ZANU PF and Mugabe borrowed that from North Korea. All civilised democratic nations allow their leaders to be as ordinary as the man in the street, so they decide to be buried in their home areas where family and cultural rituals can be performed without outside interference!

NKALAKATHA!! - 20 December 2013

If only Tsvangirayi would stop copying ZANU PF politics in dealing with his opponents in Matebeleland, he would indeed be a good leader. The only politicians worth copying, for Tsvangirayi are ANC politicians in South Africa. South African politicians, no matter how desperate for power they can be, they never resort to name calling. or tribalism. They respect the different languages in the different provinces and even go out of their way to say a few words, whilst making mistakes. In Zimbabwe, one would think that may be in Shona provinces, people are brought up being taught that it is a cultural taboo to try saying even one word of Ndebele, Kalanga, or Nambya. It really boggles the mind, as to what exactly the problem is. Even Joshua Nkomo was not good in Shona, but as long as he was in Shona regions he struggled through a few Shona words, if only to show he cared for the people he was addressing or fighting for. Infact even today, no Ndebele politician addresses meetings or rallies in Shona provinces in Ndebele - its always the other way round (Shona politicians disrespecting the locals in Mthwakazi) and this is largely seen as disrespectful and a cultural afront to the people of Matebeleland!!

NKALAKATHA!! - 20 December 2013

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