Zvamaida Murwira, Harare Bureau
President Mnangagwa has once again come to the aid of the family of former Prime Minister and the late MDC T founding leader, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai by providing financial and logistical support to the memorial service of the former opposition leader to be held in Buhera today.
Government yesterday dispatched two graders to clear the road linking Murambinda road to Mr Tsvangirai’s homestead and will provide food for more than 5 000 people expected to throng Humanikwa village in Buhera where the memorial service would be held.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the assistance Government was providing to the Tsvangirai family was consistent with President Mnangagwa’s commitment to unity and peace in the country.
“I do not have the actual detail of what has been given to the Tsvangirai family but what is critical is that President Mnangagwa will continue supporting the family because Mr Tsvangirai worked well with us as Government when he was Prime Minister during the Inclusive Government. It is also in the spirit of oneness that President Mnangagwa is showing this gesture. You might also need to know that the Tsvangirai family invited President Mnangagwa to the memorial service and obviously he will respond appropriately just as he did during the funeral wake when he sent me and Cde Oppah Muchinguri to represent him,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
In an interview yesterday from Buhera, Mr Manase Tsvangirai, younger brother to the late Mr Tsvangirai confirmed the development and said the family felt indebted to President Mnangagwa.
“As the Tsvangirai family, we are very grateful to President Mnangagwa and the Government for the continued support that they have been rendering to us starting from the illness of my brother in South Africa up to date when we are holding a memorial service for him. I am sitting on my brother’s homestead right now, there are two graders clearing the road, tents and being pitched, Government has pledged to provide food that will be served to more than 5 000 people expected to come,” said Manase. “Had it not been for Government, I do not think that as a family we would have been able to manage this memorial. Of course, there are other individuals who have come to assist in some way but the Government, led by President Mnangagwa, has assisted us in a big way to ensure that the event succeeds.”
He said President Mnangagwa had not only assisted them to make the memorial a success but had fulfilled his pledge to help the family.
“Right now, Government is paying tuition fees for Mr Tsvangirai’s children in Australia and in South Africa,” said Manase.
He said Government had not relented on assisting the family from the time of Mr Tsvangirai’s illness.
“Government rendered help to us from illness of my brother in South Africa up to his death, it provided air tickets for people who went there, paid hospitals bills, ferried the body to its burial including the food just to mention a few. We remain grateful to President Mnangagwa,” he said. Turning to the memorial, Manase said the wish of the family was that the event should not be used as a campaign platform.
“We know that the MDC, which my brother led, is approaching its congress, and there might be a temptation for some to use the event as a campaign platform. This is why we were saying we are encouraging people not to put on self serving regalia but regalia that espouses the work of Mr Tsvangirai whom we are commemorating,” he said. Mr Tsvangirai died in February last year at a hospital in Johannesburg after he succumbed to cancer of the colon.