Sunday, 18 February 2018

Mnangagwa Consoles Tsvangirai Family ... Government To Honour Promises Made To Him

President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday assured the family of the late MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai that Government will fulfil the pledges he made to the late politician regarding his welfare.

Mnangagwa said Government would consult with the family to see how the promises he made to the former Prime Minister could be fulfilled.

By Zvamaida Murwira and Audrey RundofaMnangagwa said this when he visited Mr Tsvangirai’s Highlands residence in Harare to pay his condolences following his death last Wednesday at a South African hospital.

Mnangagwa was accompanied by his two Vice Presidents General Constantino Chiwenga (Retired) and Kembo Mohadi, Government Ministers and senior Government officials.

He said during his visit to Mr Tsvangirai’s residence, the late opposition politician raised some concerns and requests he wanted addressed and as the Head of State and Government, he had acceded to them and would ensure that they were fulfilled.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa consoles Gogo Lydia Chibwe
“He gave me a list of things he wanted addressed that time and I gave him my word that the issues would be addressed,” said President Mnangagwa. “I will keep my promise. His requests will be honoured. When we are done with the burial, I will come and talk to my uncles — the Tsvangirai family.

“I will come here and explain what he requested and all that I promised him. I will explain all what I said and promised to each and every request he made. I will also come with my Vice Presidents, they shall be present when I come. I will honour those promises that I made to him.”

Mnangagwa said the Tsvangirai family were his uncles by totem, since he was a nephew of the Dziva totem. He said Government would help in the settlement of hospital bills that accrued to Mr Tsvangirai.

“When he went to South Africa I was told by his wife about the huge bill he had incurred,” he said. “We then told her that my Government will assist. The new system is that the Government will pay our former Prime Minister’s medical bill so you will just come to us and we, as Government, will settle.”

Mnangagwa was responding to concerns raised earlier on by a family member, Mrs Bryline Chitsunge, that a hospital bill to the tune of R2 million had accrued.

He said he was constantly briefed about Mr Tsvangirai’s condition and had directed doctors to help in the best way possible to ensure that he recovered.

Government, said Mnangagwa, would continue assisting the family to ensure a decent burial for Mr Tsvangirai, including provision of an aircraft to ferry the body to his rural home in Buhera today.

The burial is set for tomorrow.

President Mnangagwa said he felt duty-bound to bury political differences and unite with the MDC-T family in mourning, since Mr Tsvangirai was not only a political party leader, but a national leader given that he was once a Prime Minister of the country during the inclusive government.

“It’s up to you when you give us the programme,” said President Mnangagwa. “We will also help by providing a plane to ferry him to Buhera where he will be buried because we must respect each other..

“Politics will remain politics and we should argue, but if it’s family issues, we should not fight. We should not say because we have been fighting as politicians we should again fight even during funerals, no.

“As the leader of my party and President of the country, I would like to say let’s unite, let’s work together and be friends. We should concentrate on farming. Some might decide to till the land with an ox-drawn plough while others would prefer to use a tractor. One will prefer dry planting, but it’s all farming so that at the end of the day we put food on the table.”

Earlier on, Mr Tsvangirai’s brother, Collins, gave an account of his brother’s ailment.

He said when he went to South Africa last month, he had anticipated to stay for a shorter period, but ended up staying for a month hoping that his brother would recover. He thanked Government for the assistance rendered to the family in repatriating the body.

“When my brother died, I overheard some nurses whispering among themselves saying how are these people going to raise money for the repatriation of the body,” said Collins. “Had it not been for Government’s assistance, we would have been in South Africa trying to mobilise resources.”

Collins said his brother had shown signs of improvement on Sunday, three days before his death, only to deteriorate the following day.

“During the last day, his temperature had dropped to 34,7 degrees Celsius,” he said. “His heart and kidneys were no longer functioning well.”

Speaking at a memorial service at the Methodist Church in Mabelreign, Harare, Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda described Mr Tsvangirai as an icon of democracy.

“As a Prime Minister, he brought some breath of fresh air and tolerance and nobody can take that away from him,” he said. The Herald

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