Statement by Dr Thokozani Khupe, MDC-T Deputy Presisident Leader of the Opposition in the Parliament of Zimbabwe, on 16 February 2018 at 11: 14hrs from Johannesburg, South Africa.
RE: Information On The Funeral Wake Of The Late Right Honourable Dr Morgan Richard Tsvangirai And The Immediate Events Around It.
Fellow Zimbabweans, I have not had occasion to publicly convey my condolences to the Tsvangirai family and to all of us as a people due to the deep sense of loss and grief that seized me since receiving the sad news. Having spent all of yesterday at the late President Tsvangirai’s residence comforting the Tsvangirai family, I was also encouraged to find strength for the job at hand in ensuring that President Tsvangirai’s send-off is reflective of the larger than life icon that he was to Zimbabwe. I left Zimbabwe this morning and have arrived in South Africa as I continue to work with the family in giving our fallen gallant hero a befitting farewell. Hopefully we will be able to repatriate the body of the late Right Honourable Dr Morgan Richard Tsvangirai back home in the next day or two.
I have made contact with most of the social organisations which partnered with the late President Tsvangirai in his life journey as a democrat. These include the labour bodies, student movements, churches, youth and women’s organisations, and civil society in general. I wish to assure all that I am making every concerted effort with the family of our fallen leader to celebrate the life of our icon in a dignified and befitting manner for a statesman of his caliber.
I wish to thank all those who have assisted in the funeral wake in any way, and the multitudes of our party supporters who converged at our party headquarters yesterday to convey their grief and heartfelt loss on the departure of President Tsvangirai. May I take this opportunity to extend the family’s invitation to all; everyone is welcome at the late President Tsvangirai’s Highlands residence until we complete this journey together.
May I state on good authority that the family and indeed the majority of the party leadership stands distanced from any and all of the disturbing cheap politics we have witnessed since the passing on of President Tsvangirai. As a deputy president who unanimously received her mandate to serve as president Tsvangirai’s Second In Charge at our 2014 MDC-T National Congress, I would have failed in my duty and in reverence of his memory if I did not call to order the misguided comrades behind these unAfrican, uncultured and barbaric chain of events that have sought to draw attention away from the tragic loss to our party and country.
I profusely apologize to all who may have been offended by the uncharacteristic representation of our party at such a time as this, and wish to assure the nation that MDC-T is guided by a constitution that was born in a Zimbabwean cultural context of Ubuntu/Hunhu – that sacred age-old code of self-dignity and respect for the departed.
I appeal to all party members, organs, and the people of Zimbabwe to focus on the responsibility of preserving the memory of our departed founding president, and to calmly wait for further information on how we will proceed with the journey to the final resting place for the late President Tsvangirai. This information will be made available by Tsvangirai’s family and I on our return from South Africa.
Thank you, and stay blessed.
Issued by MDC-T Deputy President Dr Thokozani Khupe
Twitter handle: @DrThoko_Khupe
Contactable through my Personal Assistant (Witness Dube) on +263 773 201 200/ email@example.com