HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai died on Wednesday after a protracted battle with most cancers, casting his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) celebration into the unknown lower than three months after the military ousted long-time ruler Robert Mugabe.
Tsvangirai, who died in South Africa, was 65.
“I can confirm that he died this evening. The family communicated this to me,” MDC vice-president Elias Mudzuri instructed Reuters.
Arguably Zimbabwe’s hottest politician, the mining union leader’s profession was finally outlined by his tussles – trouble literal and figurative – with 93-year-old Mugabe, who resigned after a de facto coup in December.
Elections are due throughout the subsequent six months and Tsvangirai’s sickness and now dying leaves his celebration in disarray, to the benefit of the ruling ZANU-PF celebration, now led by former Mugabe deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Although Tsvangirai suffered severe bodily abuse by the hands of safety forces, together with severe head accidents in police custody in 2007, he went on to type an uneasy working relationship with Mugabe in a 2009-2013 coalition authorities.
Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Ed Cropley/James Macharia/Andrew Heavens