By Robert Tapfumaneyi
FORMER Prime Minister and the late MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s family will not allow party regalia at his memorial service set for this week.
Tsvangirai died on Valentines’ Day last year after a two year battle with colon cancer and was buried at his rural home in Buhera where the memorial service will be held this Saturday.
In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com at the family’s home in Strathaven Harare Monday, family spokesperson Manase Tsvangirai said the late MDC leader was a unifying force who did not only work for those who agreed with his political views.
“This is not a political event but a memorial service for a politician who dedicated his life to bring democratic change in the country.
“Everyone is invited, we are not leaving anyone from across the political divide,” Manase said.
“The other thing we would like to highlight is that, we hope and believe that people who are coming for this memorial, should not be seen wearing any political parties’ regalia. Instead we expect people to be wearing the regalia of the late Morgan Tsvangirai.”
Manase added that the family was hoping Zimbabweans would respect their wish.
“This is a memorial and we expect people to respect this family decision by putting branded t-shirts with his face only. This is our wish as a family as a measure of respect to the late Tsvangirai whom everybody called their icon,” said Tsvangirai’s brother.
Manase said security measures have been put in place to avoid unfortunate incidents of violent that happened at the funeral.
“The good thing is at the memorial you get to prepare compared to the funeral, so we expect people to respect the family and remember the late politician was a man who fought for every workers’ rights,” he said.
Choas broke out between rival MDC factions at Tsvangirai’s funeral last year in which secretary general Douglas Mwonzora and then Vice President Thokozani Khupe had to escape an angry mob by seeking refuge in a hut.
The rogue youths who were baying for the two’s blood almost torched the hut Mwonzora and Khupe were hiding in only to be saved by the rains.
According to Manase, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has also been invited officially to attend the memorial.
“President Mnangagwa has been invited in his personal capacity and on behalf of the government.
“And everyone is invited, as I said before Morgan worked within the government and with nearly everyone,” added Manase.
Government according to Manase is also assisting the family with the expenses towards the memorial.
Tsvangirai was accorded a State assisted funeral when he passed away in South Africa where he was receiving treatment.
The late MDC leader served as Prime Minister in the Government of National Unity (GNU) between 2009-2013 and the founding leader of the country’s biggest opposition party in 1999 leading it until he died.