Former Zimbabwean Prime Minister and main opposition Movement for Democratic Change leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, has died in Johannesburg.

The 65-year-old lost his battle to colon cancer. He had been diagnosed with the disease in 2016 and had been undergoing regular treatment at the Donald Gordon Medical Centre in Parktown.

Tsvangirai was the leader of the MDC – Zimbabwe’s most effective opposition party.

Tsvangirai  had been former President Robert Mugabe’s fiercest opponent – upsetting the elder politician’s hold on power by beating Mugabe by 6-percent of the vote in the the historic 2008 elections.

However following Mugabe’s refusal to concede defeat, many disputes and SADC facilitated negotiations – Tsvangirai became Zimbabwe’s second Prime Minister in the 2009 coalition government lead by President Mugabe.

It is a position he held until the 2013 elections which MDC lost. The 65-year-old formed the Movement for Democratic Change in 1999 in opposition to Mugabe’s one-party rule.

Tsvangirai, a former trade union leader – began contesting Zimbabwean elections in 2000. This led to him being charged with treason in the same year and again in 2003. But he was not deterred and to his death continued in his quest for the Presidency of Zimbabwe.

 

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