By John Cassim
The body of late Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who succumbed to colon cancer in South Africa Wednesday, arrived in the Zimbabwean capital Harare Saturday afternoon to a hero’s welcome by party supporters and government officials.
Thokozani Khupe, vice president of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which Tsvangirai led, accompanied the body on South African Airways and was received by acting MDC head Nelson Chamisa.
Chamisa was in the company of Information Minister and ZANU PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo, the widow Elizabeth Tsvangirai, the late leader’s mother Lydia Chibwe, and other opposition figures.
Hundreds of supporters thronged the Robert Gabriel Mugabe Airport clad in their party regalia, singing
While the government said Tsvangirai would receive a “state-assisted” funeral, in Zimbabwe only national heroes normally receive military honors at military barracks.
“Let us be strong, he was a man of purpose, a man of courage and a man of strength,” government representative Khaya Moyo told mourners at the Military Chapel.
Tsvangirai is to be buried on Tuesday at his rural home in Buhera, 219 kilometers from the capital.