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Susan Tsvangirai is laid to rest

SEND-OFF: A coffin carrying Susan Tsvangirai's body is lowered into her grave in rural Buhera on Wednesday, March 11
SEND-OFF: A coffin carrying Susan Tsvangirai's body is lowered into her grave in rural Buhera on Wednesday, March 11


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Orbituary: The life of Susan Tsvangirai

Online: Prime Minister's Website

Posted to the web: 11/03/2009 16:59:12
THOUSANDS of Zimbabweans, joined by diplomats and government representatives, gathered at Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's rural home on Wednesday to bury his wife, Susan, who was killed in a crash that also injured him.

Many Zimbabweans were suspicious about the cause of the crash but Tsvangirai has ruled out foul play.

Susan Tsvangirai, 50, was buried in her rural village of Buhera, about 200 kilometers (124 miles) south of the capital, Harare.

The funeral followed two memorial services on Tuesday: one at a church, where President Robert Mugabe addressed mourners, and the other at a stadium.

Mugabe called on Zimbabweans to support his old rival, surprising many MDC supporters and winning praise from Tsvangirai's eldest son.

MDC secretary general Tendai Biti said Wednesday that Tsvangirai and his family would be travelling to South Africa for a few days to rest. He did not specify when they were leaving.

Biti, who is one of Mugabe's fiercest critics, acknowledged the support the President has shown toward Tsvangirai, his long-time political rival, in the wake of Susan's death.

"I think on Tuesday, we saw a part that we are not used to," he said. "He is also a human being; he is a human being, like all of us."

Referring to Mugabe's remarks at the church service, Biti added: "He was not a politician speaking, but a father."

Tsvangirai, who was clad in a dark suit and glasses concealing swollen eyes, did not address mourners at the burial, but several speakers praised his wife for the years she spent supporting the former opposition chief.

Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe said: “She was our mother of the struggle, our pillar and foundation of the MDC and the nation as a whole and one person who has been fighting for democracy for many years ... so that each and every one of us can be free.”

Tsvangirai and his late wife had six children, all of whom were present at the burial.

Morgan Tsvangirai Susan Tsvangirai burial
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