By Ndatenda Njanike
HARARE Mayor, Jacob Mafume Monday called for the recognition of the late former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as a national hero for his unequivocal role in opening up democratic space in the country.
Tsvangirai, who was founder of opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), served as Prime Minister in the Government of National Unity (GNU), a political compromise he struck with later former strongman, Robert Mugabe.
The opposition stalwart passed away on February 14, 2018 after battling colon cancer.
Mafume, a Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) councillor for Mt Pleasant Ward 17, said Heroes Day commemorations were hollow without mentioning Tsvangirai’s name on the list of heroes.
“The journey of human rights is not a picture event, it is a continuous process. We are part of that process to make sure our country understands that there is strength in diversity,” he said.
“There are some heroes who are yet to be recognised, like Morgan Tsvangirai. They need formal status, heroes who did a lot for the democratisation of this country, heroes who did a lot to accept that we can belong to different parties, but still be one nation.”
“We have no quarrel with the sacrifices by (Josiah) Tongogara. Neither do we have quarrel with sacrifices by Herbert Chitepo, (Ndabaningi) Sithole and the many other young people who sacrificed their lives for our independence and liberation.
“If they respect us, we respect them. If they honour us, we honour them, and that is how a nation should be,” Mafume said.