PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s emissary to former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s funeral Water Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri had a torrid time after being subjected to booing by thousands of MDC-T supporters in Buhera Tuesday.
There had been rumours that the Zanu PF leader would attend but he, instead, sent the ruling party’s national chairperson who had to be rescued by MDC-T acting president Nelson Chamisa.
“I have come to represent President Mnangagwa. We are here to assure you that government will fulfil its promises to the family.
“We worked together when Tsvangirai began organising workers while working with us in government,” said Muchinguri-Kashiri who arrived aboard an Airforce of Zimbabwe helicopter.
But she was never given a chance as the sea of red turned hostile, drowning her voice in a cacophony of chants.
Spirited efforts by MDC-T national organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe to call the activists to order fell on deaf ears, forcing new party boss Chamisa to show he is in charge now.
“As MDC cadres we are disciplined, and I know you will listen. Let us give her a chance to finish because we will also be humiliated if we go to their functions,” said Chamisa.
And listen the crowd did. Muchinguri-Kashiri was allowed to finish her speech in which she extolled Tsvangirai’s virtues including his fight for a new constitution, democracy and the rights of women.
“TsvangiraI’s record speak for itself. The thousands of people gathered here is testament to Tsvangirai’s greatness,” she said.
“He was passionate about creating opportunities for all Zimbabweans and women empowerment. Women must celebrate this man. You see now we have so many women in government and Parliament it is because of him.”
Her situation had been complicated by former deputy Prime Minister Author Mutambara who seemed to have whipped up the crowd with a partisan speech filled with hate, accusing Mugabe’s administration of having almost killed Tsvangirai.
“We are mourning a great Zimbabwean a great African. He has courage, he walked a difficult journey. He was arrested, harassed and brutalised by Robert Mugabe’s administration.
“There are Zanu PF people here, they killed Tsvangirai,” said Mutambara.
The crowd responded, hurling obscenities and insults aimed at a Muchinguri-Kashiri shaken.
When she stood up to speak, the crowd was already hostile forcing her to stop midstream before Chamisa’s rescue effort.
Muchinguri-Kashiri said she was related to Tsvangirai’s late wife Susan hence she had links to the family.
“Besides my government hat, I am hear because I was related to Susan. She was my cousin sister. I thought you needed to know that,” she said in a bid to ingratiate herself with the crowd.
She eventually won them over and finished her speech.